My name is Matt Duhamel. You may also know me as The Outspoken Offender. I’m also a former offender. Though I take full responsibility for my poor choices, I’m not my crime. Sure, society and the courts have labeled me a felon and a sex offender, but I’m also a father, business owner, a dog dad, a former TV weatherman and radio host, and someone who has compassion and empathy for others. You see, these poor choices that I made caused my life to veer way off course. Let me summarize my story for you…
In 2006, I was arrested by the FBI for developing scantily clad child and teen modeling websites which generated over $500,000 in just over two years. FBI agents stormed my house on a very cold spring morning in Northern Utah. At first, I told them they had made a mistake and explained that the websites contained no sexual acts or nudity.
Later that year when I was on pretrial release, I came to understand that one of the reasons that got me into trouble was my naivety. I didn’t understand the law. I didn’t know about the “Dost Factors” and how non-nude images of minors could rise to the level of child pornography. I never thought I was breaking the law and never intended to. On the other hand, I knew what I was doing was morally wrong. Emotionally, I was a mess.
On Valentines Day, 2007, I was found guilty by a judge on three felony counts: possession, receipt and distribution according to the U.S. statute, 18 U.S.C. §225. In my case, the judge allowed for the three charges to run concurrently, meaning I would serve 60 months for all three counts.
I’ve been through a lot since that fateful day. I lost my mother and almost my dad to a coma. My sister had a debilitating stroke due to a blood disorder. I fought in family court to keep my parental rights and won. Plus, in 2017, I went through my second divorce. That’s a lot to deal with in such a short time, but it hasn’t been all bad. Sure, it’s been one hell of a struggle, but I’ve learned so much about myself and others.
Now that I’ve been out of prison since 2012, I’ve focused my attention on bettering myself and developing ways I can help others. From 2013 to 2017, I produced five independent films with topics ranging from Tourette syndrome, to the lack of rental housing for ex-felons and registered sex offenders. I also launched a video podcast titled, Solitary Nation, where the focus was on America’s broken criminal justice system.
More recently, I’ve become more vocal through my website and vlog, The Outspoken Offender. This new venture is about urgent issues registered sex offenders face everyday in society, including the lack of jobs and rental housing. It’s also about the loss of family and friends, and struggles in marriages due to collateral damage. Furthermore, my project discusses social ostracism and the effects of long-term rejection.
I’m determined to live the healthiest life I can while providing hope to the almost one million registrants and their families. As the poet Jeremy Limn once said,
“Rejection gives you more power to push forward.”
Best Documentary Film, Red Finch Festival
Official Screening Park City, Utah Film Showcase
Best Director, Shorts Showcase
Utah Stories – Filmmaker – Documentaries and Second Chances
Board Member – (Webmaster/Admin) – Reset Missouri
I coach individuals affected by the criminal legal system and the sex offender registry.
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