Alejandro Arturo Scholz Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Missoula, on August 24, 2010, before U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy, ALEJANDRO ARTURO SCHOLZ, a 35-year-old resident of Helena, pled guilty to sexual exploitation of children, receipt of child pornography, and possession of child pornography. Sentencing has been set for December 2, 2010. He is currently detained.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marcia K. Hurd, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
The Helena Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation were investigating allegations of child pornography access by users utilizing a peer-to-peer file sharing network. One investigation involved a person in Helena who had child pornography available to share via a file sharing program beginning in 2010.
A search warrant for SCHOLZ's residence in Helena which was served on May 18, 2010. Several items were seized, including a computer, CD's and a hollowed-out book containing CD's. Forensic examination revealed that one of SCHOLZ's CD's contained sexually explicit images that SCHOLZ produced of himself and a then 13-year-old girl. Those images were produced on various dates in 2006 in Helena. The child, name not disclosed to protect her privacy, has been positively identified. SCHOLZ used, persuaded, induced, enticed or coerced the child into engaging in or had the child assist him in engaging in sexually explicit activity for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of that conduct. Further forensic analysis found numerous images of child pornography on SCHOLZ's computer and related media that he received via the Internet from approximately 2005 through 2009. SCHOLZ saved that material, as well as the child pornography images above that he produced.
SCHOLZ also possessed images and movies of children clearly prepubescent and children engaged in sadistic or masochistic abuse or other depictions of violence.
SCHOLZ faces possible penalties of a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison and could be sentenced to 30 years, a $250,000 fine and lifetime supervision.
The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Helena Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, and the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation.
A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.