BOISE -- A man from Ohio pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of children Tuesday, telling a federal judge that he had gotten two teenagers to send him explicit live videos of themselves over Skype.
Investigators say 34-year-old Timothy Raymond Schmidt of Cincinnati targeted two teens, aged 17 and 13, in Valley County, Idaho between Jan. 28 to April 9, 2015.
“This case is an excellent example of local, state and federal law enforcement working together to take out this child sexual predator,” U.S. Attorney for the District of Idaho Bart Davis said. “Protecting our children from sexual predators is a top law enforcement priority, and we will continue to use all available tactics and resources to prosecute these individuals.”
Schmidt admitted that he had "persuaded, induced, and coerced" the underage victims to engage in sexual conduct, while Skyping with him.
According to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Idaho, Schmidt and the 17-year-old Skyped sexually a dozen times. He and the 13-year-old Skyped 11 times.
In addition, investigators found more than 33,000 lines of archived Skype chats between Schmidt and the victims, as well as explicit images of both victims and Schmidt.
Adult relatives of the victims found out that the defendant was contacting the teens, and called the Valley County Sherriff's Office. The case was then turned over to Homeland Security Investigations and the Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force.
ICAC investigators looked and the victims' computers, and learned that Schmidt had given the teens personal information including his name, hometown, his college and a description of his tattoos. Detectives were also able to narrow down two locations in Ohio from which Schmidt had engaged in the chats.
In May 2016, Homeland Security agents served a warrant at one of those locations, which turned out to be Schmidt's home.
Detective also spoke to a resident of the second location, who confirmed that Schmidt had stayed there in the past. Agents were able to match up items at that address with objects that had appeared in the background of Schmidt’s live chats, including a Darth Vader statue and model airplanes.
Schmidt faces a minimum of 15 years in prison at his sentencing, set for Jan. 31, 2018.
“Homeland Security Investigations is committed to bringing to justice to those who sexually exploit children,” said Bradford A. Bench, special agent in charge of HSI Seattle. “This case exemplifies the long reach of HSI, and its ability to coordinate and pursue investigative efforts with our law enforcement partners.”