Billings man admits possessing child pornography
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Montana
BILLINGS — A Billings man accused of sending two videos of minor children engaged in sexually explicit conduct to an undercover officer admitted to child pornography charges today, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.
Ethan Andrew Schilling, 25, pleaded guilty to a superseding information charging him with possession of child pornography. Schilling faces a maximum of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and five years of supervised release.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy J. Cavan presided. A sentencing date will be set before U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters. The court will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. Schilling was released pending further proceedings.
In court documents, the government alleged that in March 2022, law enforcement was conducting an undercover investigation and began corresponding with Schilling on a social media application. During these communications, the officer was posing as the relative of a 12-year-old girl. Schilling’s intentions regarding the fictitious girl became increasing sexual in nature. Schilling offered that he had “pics” and sent the undercover officer two videos of a prepubescent minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct. In May 2022, law enforcement served search warrant at Schilling’s residence. Schilling informed law enforcement that he did send the videos, acknowledged that it was illegal to send child pornography and that he obtained the videos from someone else.
Zeno B. Baucus is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by the FBI.
This case was initiated under the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood initiative, which was launched in 2006 to combat the proliferation of technology-facilitated crimes involving the sexual exploitation of children. Through a network of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and advocacy organizations, Project Safe Childhood attempts to protect children by investigating and prosecuting offenders involved in child sexual exploitation. It is implemented through partnerships including the Montana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. The ICAC Task Force Program was created to assist state and local law enforcement agencies by enhancing their investigative response to technology facilitated crimes against children.
Clair Johnson Howard
Public Affairs Officer
Updated January 19, 2023
Project Safe Childhood