Jeremy Lee Schmitz, 34, was arrested at his parole office Thursday evening after the girl’s parent saw explicit texts from him on the teen’s phone and called Meridian police, Deputy Police Chief Tracy Basterrechea said Friday.
Schmitz is charged with felony sexual abuse of a child under age 16, which is punishable by up to 25 years in prison. Online court records show he also faces a felony charge of having sexually exploitive material and misdemeanor charges of enticing a child and disseminating exploitive material.
Schmitz met the girl on the website LetGo.com then sent her explicit texts including lewd photos of himself, Basterrechea said. The communication continued after he learned the girl’s age, and in one text message he “suggested they meet up to have sex,” the deputy chief said.
Idaho Department of Correction records show Schmitz was on parole from a Rathdrum murder committed when he was 14. Tried as an adult and sentenced in 1998 to at least 10 years and up to life in prison, he was last paroled in 2014. He had earlier been released in 2007 annd 2010, but both times was returned to custody after about two years for parole violations, IDOC reports.
The Spokesman-Review reported in 1997 that Schmitz’s charge was reduced from first-degree to second-degree murder after he agreed to testify against his 18-year-old cousin Daniel Eby. Schmitz confessed that the cousins reportedly beat 52-year-old Melvin Evenson with a baseball bat in an attempt to rob him of money and drugs, the Spokesman-Review reported.
Schmitz, who is in the Ada County Jail, was arraigned Friday on the sex abuse charges. His preliminary hearing was set for Jan. 27.