Man who offered toddler for sex sent to prison

jsowell@idahostatesman.comAugust 13, 2013 

— Even to Idaho’s longest-serving judge, Jason Schaber’s crimes stood out.

"This is one of the most insidious and heinous cases I've handled in my 50 years on the bench," U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge said Tuesday during Schaber’s sentencing in Boise.

Schaber, 41, pleaded guilty in May to sexual exploitation of children and felony distribution of sexually explicit images of minors. Lodge sentenced him to 30 years in federal prison for offenses that included advertising a 3-year-old for sex on Craigslist.

Schaber was arrested in May 2012 after posting an ad the month before in the "Casual Encounters" section of the website. Without mentioning her age, he offered to provide the toddler for sex.

A man who responded to the ad notified police after Schaber responded to an email, saying the girl was 3.

Although the ad was deleted, detectives were able to tie it to Schaber's email account. They found he had placed the ad four other times between September 2011 and April 2012.

Three of the five postings offered trading sex with the child for money. Investigators said it did not appear Schaber had met anyone or received any money through the ads.

After seizing his computer, investigators found images of Schaber having illegal sexual contact with the toddler, who was known to him.

In court, two underage children were described as victims.

The children's mother called Schaber a danger to society and said he made his own bad choices.

"You tore my family apart and used precious, defenseless children for your pleasure," she said to him as she addressed the court before sentencing.

Schaber looked at the woman before placing his head down, and put his hand up to his face and appeared to be sobbing. He later looked at her again before rubbing his eyes.

"You may be forgiven, but only by God," she said.

Schaber apologized and said he is embarrassed every day by his actions. He said he was raised in a family with healthy morals and there was no excuse for what he did.

Defense attorney Tom Monaghan agreed with Jim Peters, the assistant U.S. attorney handling the case, that Schaber committed horrible acts that deserved punishment.

Both attorneys said they hoped the long sentence would deter others who might consider sexually abusing or exploiting children.

Monaghan asked that part of the court record be sealed to keep Schaber from being humiliated further. Lodge denied the motion.

"My response to that is you lie in the bed you make," Lodge said.

The judge told Schaber he didn't have much sympathy for him. He said the children who were abused will likely face mental health issues during their lives, as well as go through divorces, have low self-esteem and may have problems with drugs and alcohol.

"These children have been given a life sentence," Lodge said.

Lodge told Schaber that if he is truly remorseful, he will take advantage of substance abuse treatment programs in prison and get help for his sexual deviancy problems.

When Schaber feels down in prison, Lodge told him to think about those children and the problems they're enduring.

"They're going to have troubles their entire lives," he said.

John Sowell: 377-6423, Twitter: @IDS_Sowell

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