Former Salt Lake Figure Skating chief charged with soliciting sex from underage girl

The former president of Salt Lake Figure Skating — the home club of world figure skating champion Nathan Chen — was charged Monday with attempting to solicit sex online from a 13-year-old girl, who turned out to be an undercover officer.

Matthew Gregory Shepard, 45, was charged in 3rd District Court with a count of criminal solicitation, a first-degree felony; five counts of enticing a minor, a second-degree felony; and a count of attempted sexual exploitation of a minor, a third-degree felony.

Charging documents said Shepard was also a teacher in Primary, an organization to teach children in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Documents say an officer with the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force conducted undercover online chat operations posing as a 13-year-old girl, and was contacted by someone using the name “fundaddy,” later identified as Shepard.

As the officer reported being a 13-year-old girl, documents say Shepard replied that was the same age as his daughter.

He sent several sexually explicit messages saying he wanted to have sex with the “girl,” charges say. He also called the supposed 13-year-old “his sexy daughter and his very special daughter,” and asked for a “sexy picture” of her.

“Shepard asked to meet up and when he arrived, he was taken into custody,” documents say.

They add that Shepard admitted to the online chats and his username and “acknowledged his interest with 12-13-year-old females.”

Shepard was president of Salt Lake Figuring Skating. The group’s webpage says it is the home club of 2019 world figure skating champion Nathan Chen and Angela Wang, a 2018 U.S. Figure Skating Team alternate.

The nonprofit group also says it “supports figure skaters of all ages and levels and offers opportunities for exhibition, competition, and testing to skaters.”

Robert Walton-Steadman, the group’s current president, declined comment — but said information was correct in a Deseret News story that said Shepard stepped down as president on Sept. 1, resigned from its board on Nov. 14 and did not work directly with children as president of the club. It also said U.S. Figure Skating suspended Shepard’s membership.

The court issued a warrant for Shepard’s arrest on Monday and set bail at $500,000.

Return to Story