Jason Lloyd Schaber was supposed to begin a jury trial in Ada County next week on felony charges of lewd conduct and sexual exploitation of a child after being accused of posting an ad on Craigslist offering a toddler for sex last summer.
That trial was cancelled and charges were dropped Thursday, the day after a federal grand jury indicted Schaber on 23 child porn related charges. An arraignment date for the 39-year-old Schaber in federal court has not yet been set, but should happen sometime this month. If he pleads not guilty, a new trial in federal court will be set for later this year.
Ada County prosecutors said Friday they support the change, since the federal charges guarantee more fixed prison time if Schaber is found guilty of the crimes, which include sex trafficking of a child, six counts of production of sexually explicit images of a minor, and 16 counts of distribution of sexually explicit images of minors.
The grand jury found that Schaber produced sexually explicit images and videos of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct between April 2010 and May 2012. They also found evidence Schaber distributed child pornography images and videos to 16 other people via email between September 2011 and April 2012, according to court records.
Investigators with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force began their investigation of Schaber in mid April after Boise police were contacted by a person who saw the Craigslist ad. Investigators worked with Craigslist and were able to eventually trace the ad back to Schaber by mid-May, according to reports. Ada County Sheriffs deputies arrested Schaber on May 31.
Sheriffs officials say investigators also found videos of Schaber having illegal sexual contact with the a-year-old girl when they searched his home in the 3600 block of Summerset Way, which is in the Victory/Five Mile roads neighborhood.
The girl, who is known to Schaber, was declared to be in imminent danger by sheriffs deputies and placed in the custody of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. She remains is foster care, according to U.S. Department of Justice reports.
While it is unclear if anyone responded to Schabers ad, investigators said last fall it did not appear he actually met anyone about it or completed any kind of transaction. The crimes of producing and distributing child porn are punishable by up to 30 and 20 years in a federal prison, with have a mandatory minimums of 15 and 5 years for each charge.