Minnesota National Guardsman Indicted for Producing Child Pornography While Deployed to Afghanistan
A Minnesota National Guardsman was indicted last week for inducing a 14 year-old girl to send him nude photos over the Internet while he was deployed to Afghanistan, announced Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger of the District of Minnesota.
Andrew Schiller, 28, of Lakeville, Minnesota, is charged with one count of production of child pornography. Schiller was ordered detained pending trial today by U.S. Magistrate Judge Becky R. Thorson of the District of Minnesota.
According to allegations in the indictment and the government’s request for pretrial detention, between Sep. 23, 2013, and Jan. 12, 2014, Schiller contacted a 14 year-old girl from Minnesota via Skype. During repeated communications with the girl, Schiller allegedly requested that she send sexually explicit photos of herself to him. The victim allegedly sent several images in response to Schiller’s requests, including at least one sexually explicit image.
According to additional allegations in the government’s request for pretrial detention, Schiller used various social media platforms to communicate online with dozens of girls between the ages of 13 and 17. Among those platforms were MyLOL (“funinlife”), Skype (“thriller_a_schiller3”), Meet Me (“mnfuntimes”) and Facebook. Schiller also allegedly used KIK, an instant messaging application for mobile devices that allows users to share photographs and other content. After establishing online contact with the girls, Schiller allegedly directed the conversation to sexual topics and attempted to convince the girls to send sexually explicit videos or images of themselves to him. Schiller allegedly shared sexually explicit images of himself to encourage the girls to send photographs and videos of themselves, and he sometimes promised money or alcohol in exchange for sexually explicit images or live video chats.
The charges contained in the indictment and the allegations contained in the government’s request for pretrial detention are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Anyone with additional information about this case can call the FBI Minneapolis Field Office at 763-569-8000. If you know of any child who may have been a victim of exploitation, please call the National Center for Missing or Exploited Children (NCMEC) at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) or visit NCMEC’s web site at www.missingkids.com.
This case is being investigated by the Army Criminal Investigative Division and the FBI. This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Jeffrey H. Zeeman of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine T. Buzicky of the District of Minnesota.
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 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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.