Ohio man sentenced for Skype sex-chatting with Valley County teens

Posted at 4:34 PM, Jan 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-31 18:34:42-05

Timothy Schmidt, 35, of Cincinnati, Ohio, was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Boise to 25 years in prison, followed by lifetime supervised release, for sexual exploitation of two Valley County teenagers, according to U.S. Attorney Bart Davis. 

According to the plea agreement, from January 28 to April 9 of 2015, Schmidt used Skype to communicate with the victims, ages seventeen and thirteen. 

“On at least twelve occasions, the defendant persuaded the seventeen-year-old victim to engage in sexually-explicit conduct over live Skype video transmissions. On at least eleven occasions, the defendant persuaded the thirteen-year-old victim to engage in (the same sexually-explicit conduct),” according to a news release from Davis’ office.

The defendant’s conduct was reportedly discovered by adult relatives of the victims, who then reported it to the Valley County Sheriff’s Office.  

The case was referred to Homeland Security and the Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children task force.  

“ICAC detectives examined the victim’s computer and discovered 33,000 lines of archived Skype chats between the defendant and both victims, sexually-explicit images of both victims, and images of the defendant. Within the chats, the defendant 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 the defendant had engaged in the chats,” the release stated.

In May, 2016, Homeland Security Agents from Idaho and Ohio served a search warrant at one of the Ohio locations where authorities learned the Skype communications originated, and where Schmidt lived. Investigat9oisr seized his computers.

“Agents also contacted a resident of the second location in Ohio where the Skype communications originated from, and confirmed (Schmidt) had previously stayed at the residence,” the release said. “Agents observed items in the residence that were consistent with items the victims reported observing in the background of the defendant’s live chats, including a Darth Vader statue and model airplanes hanging from the ceiling.  An HSI forensic examiner examined the defendant’s computers and discovered evidence that both had been used to communicate with the victims via Skype.”

Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill also ordered Schmidt to forfeit the two laptop computers he used. 

Schmidt will be required to register as a sex offender.