Celebrity chef accused of taking part in, distributing child porn in New York City

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Shirleen Allicot is in Lower Manhattan with the story

Matthew Tivy, a celebrity chef who has also been on the Food Network, was arrested Thursday morning on child pornography charges.

Tivy is accused of distributing explicit photos and videos of teens from New Jersey, Florida and Ohio. FBI agents are actively looking for more victims.

Tivy, 54, of Morningside Heights, is the chef/owner at Caf du Soleil on the Upper West Side.

He was arrested around 6 a.m. by FBI agents without incident. He appeared in federal court in Manhattan Thursday afternoon.

According to court documents, police uncovered new information in a search of Tivy's cellphone following his initial arrest on May 6. In the most recent arrest Tivy allegedly met up last December with a 14- or 15-year-old boy he met on Grindr, a dating/hookup app for gay men. They met at the top level of the a parking garage and engaged in sexual activity. The boy was a junior at a high school in the Bronx at the time. They recorded their encounter and Tivy later asked the boy to send him numerous video clips.

Police said Tivy texted the teen afterward. Here's that conversation detectives pulled from his phone:

Tivy: "Even though you were very bad not to tell how young you are haha but I didn't mind."
Teen: "Oh, I thought I told you."
Tivy: "I've been with a high school guy before so it's cool."

Prosecutors said Tivy then sent the video and a photo and video clips to a user on the messaging app KIK.

Through their review of evidence, police said they identified five other victims that appeared to be minors.

Court records showed Tivy sent images of a 15-year-old boy from New Jersey to other KIK users, encouraging them to contact the boy for a group sexual encounter. Tivy allegedly told the others that he engaged in sexual activity with the boy when the boy was 14.

The records indicate that Tivy also sent videos of a 14-year-old boy from Miami, as well as photos of a 16-year-old boy from southern Ohio.

Even after his May arrest, prosecutors said there's evidence that shows Tivy used the website "Chaturbate," an Internet-based program that users can engage in sexually explicit conduct that is displayed via webcam and discussed via chat. On July 18, records show Tivy was chatting on the service about his sexual experience with minors.

The FBI said Tivy may have more victims, and is asking anyone to come forward if they have information to share. Victims are encouraged to call 212-384-1000 or submit information on the FBI's website.

Related Topics:
new york citychild pornographyfoodMorningside HeightsNew York City
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