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Out of prison 1 year, sex offender returns to online solicitation of kids, police say

Matthew D. Bauman went to prison in 2011 for accosting children for immoral purposes; police say he most recently offered a 13-year-old girl $100 for sex.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A man who went to prison for using social media to solicit sex from girls is accused of doing it again, just a year after he was paroled for his 2011 crimes.

Matthew Dale Bauman, 47, faces multiple charges, including child sexually abusive activity.

Bauman communicated with a 13-year-old girl on Facebook Messenger, asking her to “watch him masturbate . . . and requested to meet her in person,’’ court records show. “Matthew also offered the victim $100 for oral sex.’’

Bauman was arrested by Grand Rapids police two weeks ago. He’s facing four felony charges that could put him in prison for decades.

“These predators are out there – more so than ever,’’ Grand Rapids Police Sgt. John Wittkowski said. “And parents really need to be leery of the susceptibility of their children when they are online.’’

Bauman, who was living in Wayland, has felony arrests dating back to his teen years. He’s been to prison numerous times for offenses that include assault, felony firearms, car theft and intoxicated/impaired driving – third offense. 

But it was predatory conduct nine years ago in the city of Wyoming that put him on Michigan’s sex offender registry.

He was convicted of accosting children for immoral purposes for using Facebook to solicit nude photos of girls in 2011.

Bauman was released on parole on March 19, 2019. A year later, police say he was in contact with the 13-year-old Grand Rapids girl.

The conduct, police say, “involves very similar language’’ to the 2011 case, “including requesting to video-chat with the females so that they could see him masturbate, requesting to meet them at a park, asking if the females were ‘virgins’ and using the word ‘sex.’’’

“Additionally, the victim identified Matthew as the person that she met at Garfield Park,’’ Grand Rapids Detective Kevin Snyder wrote in an Oct. 30 probable cause affidavit.

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