Attorney General sues Capitol Hill photographer Matt Hickey over porn scam

For a decade, former Capitol Hill resident Matt Hickey allegedly used online personas and fake websites to lure women to take nude photos and have sex with him under the guise that they were auditioning for a porn company.

Last week, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a consumer protection lawsuit against Hickey in King County Superior Court. The complaint accuses Hickey of multiple violations of the Washington Consumer Protection Act and the Commercial Electronic Mail Act.

“This is one of the most egregious scams I’ve seen as Attorney General,” Ferguson said. “Beyond the monetary damage his victims suffered pursuing the defendant’s fictional job opportunities, they endured emotional trauma and unconscionable loss of privacy through his deception.”

Hickey is currently being held on three second-degree rape charges at the King County Correctional Facility. His bail is set at $200,000. Prosecutors allege the crimes were part of a string of sexual assaults in which women said they went with Hickey “under false pretenses or stated Hickey had sex with them when they were too intoxicated to give consent.”

According to the new complaint, Hickey, a tech blogger and photographer, created a fake porn business “solely for his personal gain and sexual gratification.”

One of Hickey’s fake personas used to lured women was Deja Stwalley who claimed to run New Seattle Talent, a fake business that offered to connect women to indie porn studios. Under the name, Hickey allegedly contacted women on social media sites saying he could get them porn jobs.

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Hickey is alleged to have contacted women ages 17 to 25 via Stwalley’s profile. Stwalley told women she has worked in the industry since 2012 and wants to “help girls who are interested get into the industry safely.” She also told them they could make $1,200 to $3,500 a day — the women just needed to audition with one of the studio’s “specially chosen hunks.”

As part of the audition process for the fake jobs, Hickey would convince his victims to pose for nude photos and have sex with him, prosecutors say.

Victims said Hickey was professional during their shoots.

Victims allege the final part of the audition was having sex with Hickey. Stwalley told women it was necessary for to verify “their willingness and capacity to perform sex acts with a stranger,” according to the complaint, and that a written review would be included in their portfolios.

The complaint calls for Hickey to pay restitution to the victims and pay penalties up to $2,000 per violation. Each act he committed to further the fake business could count as a separate violation.

Those who believe they have been victimized by the scam or have been contacted by Matt Hickey pretending to be someone else online —  Deja Stwalley or Chrissy Baaten, another alias he is alleged to have used to dupe victims — can all investigator Charlann Schakel at (206) 389-3850 or email charlanns@atg.wa.gov.

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