Gering Man Sentenced to 7 years for Child Pornography
United States Attorney Deborah R. Gilg announced that Thomas J. Schildt, 30, of Gering, Nebraska, was sentenced in federal court in Lincoln, Nebraska, for receiving and distributing child pornography. The Honorable Richard G. Kopf sentenced Schildt to the custody of the United States Bureau of Prisons for seven (7) years. There is no parole in the federal system. After his release from prison Schildt will begin a ten year term of supervised release and will be required to register as a sex offender.
The sentencing stemmed from a routine undercover investigation by the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office Rural Cybercrime Unit (RCU). The RCU discovered child pornography being shared online from an IP address assigned to Schildt’s home. During the execution of a search warrant on November 16, 2011, members of the RCU and Gering Police Department, found more than 15,000 sexually explicit images of young children on an external hard drive in Schildt’s room. The images included prepubescent children, some as young as 3 years of age, engaged in various sexual acts and bondage.
United States Attorney Deborah R. Gilg expressed her appreciation to the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office for referring their investigation for federal prosecution. Ms. Gilg noted that the mandatory minimum sentence available on the federal level makes the federal courts a favorable venue for prosecuting the most egregious offenders.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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 to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.