Jason Lloyd Schaber was supposed to begin a jury trial in Ada County this 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. Schaber found out Tuesday he will begin a jury trial in federal court in April instead.
The state charges were dropped last week after a federal grand jury indicted Schaber on 23 child porn related charges.
Ada County prosecutors said last week 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.
Schaber pleaded not guilty to all charges Tuesday. A jury trial is now set to begin April 23 in front of U.S. District Judge Ed Lodge at the federal courthouse in Boise.
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 the 39-year-old 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.