Federal prosecutors are accusing a celebrity chef of producing and sharing child pornography after meeting a boy on a dating app and allegedly enticing him to engage in sex acts.
The 53-year-old Matthew Tivy, who owns Cafe du Soleil in New York City's Upper West Side and has appeared on the Food Network, was arrested after authorities found videos of him having sex with a Bronx teenager, prosecutors said.
The boy was in junior high school between December and January when the alleged abuse happened, a criminal complaint states.
Authorities found text messages between the victim and Tivy after the alleged sexual encounter, with Tivy allegedly writing: "That was really fun, even though you were very bad not to tell me how young you are, haha, but I don't mind!"
The victim wrote back, "Oh, I thought I told you."
Tivy allegedly wrote, "I've been with a high school guy before, so it's cool."
Tivy was arrested in his Morningside Heights home Thursday morning. His restaurant was open and operating Thursday night. Customers there called the allegations disturbing.
"It just makes me a little more cautious when it comes to bringing my young family members around," said Dameon August.
Karen Anderson said, "It really is one of the lowest things you can do."
Tivy's attorney Glenn Hardy says his client is innocent. When asked how he explains the text messages and video,
Hardy said, "That's something we have to investigate. He has no obligation to explain to me or the government what they're about, but that's something Matthew and I are going to work on."
Tivy is also facing charges for allegedly having sex with a minor back in May. He's due back in court next month.