FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
THURSDAY - August 19, 2010
CHILD PORNOGRAPHER SENTENCED
RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court today United States District Judge James C. Dever III, sentenced WILBERT ROBERT SCHMIDT, 64, of Brunswick County, North Carolina, to 420 months’ imprisonment followed by three years’ supervised release.
A Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on December 21, 2009. On April 19, 2010, SCHMIDT pled guilty to two counts of production of child pornography.
On January 15, 2009, photographs were brought to the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office that depicted SCHMIDT engaged in sex acts with small children. Federal and local law enforcement then went to SCHMIDT’s residence where he was arrested. Officers additionally recovered a large quantity of other illegal photos. Subsequent examination of the evidence revealed 6,432 physical images of child pornography. Of these, 6,112 were either Polaroid pictures or framed pictures taken by, or including an image of, SCHMIDT.
The investigation disclosed that SCHMIDT had sexually abused at least 20 children, beginning at ages as young as six, over a period of almost three decades, and violated state and federal child pornography laws for almost 40 years. Not all of the victims have yet been identified. Based upon this history, Judge Dever called SCHMIDT a “predator,” and concluded that the advisory sentencing guideline range of 168-210 months was insufficient to accomplish the goals of sentencing in his case in light of SCHMIDT’S persistent criminal conduct, his sadistic abuse of children, and the huge quantity of child pornography he created and maintained.
This case was part of the Project Safe Childhood initiative, a national program aimed at ensuring that criminals exploiting children are effectively prosecuted by making full use of all available law enforcement resources at every level. For more information about this important national project, Project Safe Childhood, go to www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
Investigation of this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Jay Exum represented the United States.
News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.