An Ohio man has pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of children in a case involving two Idaho teenagers, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Timothy Raymond Schmidt, 34, of Cincinnati, Ohio, entered the guilty plea on Tuesday.
According to Schmidt’s plea deal, the Ohio man used Skype to communicate with two Idaho teens from late January to early April 2015. The victims, both from Valley County, were 17 and 13 years old at the time.
Prosecutors said Schmidt “persuaded, induced and coerced the 17-year-old victim to engage in sexually explicit conduct over live Skype video transmissions” at least 12 times and did the same to the younger victim at least 11 times.
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The case was first uncovered and reported by adult relatives of the Idaho children. Detectives with Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children later found 33,000 lines of archived Skype chats between Schmidt and both his victims, along with sexually explicit images of both victims and images of Schmidt, who had provided details in the Skype chats about his hometown, workplace, college and tattoos.
When Homeland Security Investigations agents tracked Schmidt down, they found even more corroborating evidence, such as “items in the residence which were consistent with items the victims reported observing in the background of Schmidt’s live chats, including a Darth Vader statue and model airplanes hanging from the ceiling.”
Sexual exploitation of a child is carries a minimum prison sentence of 15 years and a maximum sentence of 30 years, as well as fines and a required lifetime of supervised release. Schmidt is scheduled for sentencing on Jan. 31, 2018.