Minnesota National Guardsman Pleads Guilty to Producing Child Pornography While Deployed to Afghanistan
A Minnesota National Guardsman pleaded guilty today to inducing a 14-year-old girl to create and send to him sexually explicit photos over the Internet while he was deployed to Afghanistan.
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 made the announcement.
Andrew Schiller, 28, of Lakeville, Minnesota, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson of the District of Minnesota to one count of production of child pornography. The sentencing hearing will be scheduled at a later date.
According to his guilty plea, between Sept. 23, 2013, and Jan. 12, 2014, while deployed to Afghanistan, Schiller contacted a 14-year-old female from Minnesota online, and requested that she create and forward to him via the Internet sexually explicit photos of herself. The victim did, in fact, send several images in response to Schiller’s requests, including at least one sexually explicit image. Schiller further admitted that he communicated online with numerous other minors, including a 14-year-old and a 15-year-old, and that he attempted to convince the minors to send to him via the Internet sexually explicit videos or images of themselves.
This case is being investigated by the Army Criminal Investigative Division and the FBI, and anyone with additional information about this case should call the FBI Minneapolis Field Office at 763-569-8000. 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, launched in May 2006, to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. 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. In addition, if you know of any child who may have been a victim of exploitation, please contact 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.