Timothy Raymond Schmidt, 34, of Cincinnati, Ohio pleaded guilty Tuesday in United States District Court to sexual exploitation of children, according to U.S. Attorney Bart Davis -– after communicating via Skype with two Valley County children.
According to the plea agreement, from January 28 to April 9, 2015, Schmidt, while living in Ohio, used Skype to communicate with two minor victims -- ages 17 and 13 -– living in Valley County.
A news release from Davis’ office said, “On at least twelve occasions, Schmidt persuaded, induced, and coerced the 17-year-old victim to engage in sexually explicit conduct over live Skype video transmissions. On at least eleven occasions, Schmidt persuaded, induced, and coerced the 13-year-old victim to engage in sexually explicit conduct over live Skype video transmissions.”
Schmidt’s conduct was discovered by adult relatives of the victims and reported to the Valley County Sheriff’s Office.
The case was then referred to Homeland Security Investigations and the Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children task force.
The release said, “ICAC detectives examined the victims’ computers and discovered 33,000 lines of archived Skype chats between Schmidt and both victims, sexually-explicit images of both victims, and images of Schmidt. Within the chats, Schmidt provided personal identifying information to the victims, including his name, hometown, his place of work, where he went to college, and a description of his tattoos. ICAC detectives were also able to identify two locations in Ohio from where Schmidt had engaged in the chats.”
In May of last year, HSI Agents from Idaho and Ohio served a search warrant at one of the locations in Ohio where the Skype communications originated from. Agents determined that
Schmidt lived there at the time.
They then seized Schmidt’s computers.
HSI Agents also contacted a resident at the second location in Ohio where Skype communications originated from and confirmed that Schmidt had previously stayed there.
“Agents observed items in the residence which were consistent with items the victims reported observing in the background of Schmidt’s live chats, including a Darth Vader statue and model airplanes hanging from the ceiling. An HSI forensic examiner examined Schmidt’s computers and discovered evidence that both had been used to communicate with the victims via Skype,” the release stated.
Sexual exploitation of a child is punishable by not less than fifteen, and up to thirty years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, at least five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a $5,100 special assessment.
Schmidt’s sentencing is set for January 31, of next year in Boise.