News and Press Releases

Clayton Schlepp Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Friday, February 27, 2009

Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Billings, on February 26, 2008, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, CLAYTON SCHLEPP, a 31-year-old resident of Miles City, appeared for sentencing. SCHLEPP was sentenced to a term of:

  • Prison: 60 months
  • Special Assessment: $100
  • Supervised Release: 7 years

SCHLEPP was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to receipt of child pornography.

In an Offer of Proof filed by the United States, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

In 2007, SCHLEPP was employed as a restitution officer by the Department of Corrections (DOC), stationed at Pine Hills Youth Correctional Facility (PHYCF) in Miles City. DOC received information from their IT department that SCHLEPP had attempted to access prohibited Internet sites using his DOC computer. SCHLEPP'S computer was not shared and was maintained in his own office space.

DOC examined SCHLEPP'S computer hard drive and found numerous images of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The hard drive was subsequently forensically examined and numerous images of child pornography were found. SCHLEPP visited sexually oriented web sites, including various groups that catered to those who had an interest in viewing child pornography. SCHLEPP also used a search engine to find child pornography by using terms such as "incest," "lolita," "LS models," "PTHC" (preteen hardcore), "preteen," "PT model" and "pubescent girls."

The forensic exam found images of children clearly prepubescent and several pictures that involved sadistic or masochistic abuse or other depictions of violence. The images had been accessed during 2005 and 2006 and corresponded to the days that SCHLEPP was working at PHYCF.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that SCHLEPP will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, SCHLEPP does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for "good behavior." However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Marcia K. Hurd prosecuted the case for the United States.

The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Helena Police Department, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In February 2006, the Department of Justice launched Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit



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