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Press Release

Billings man sentenced to more than three years in prison for possessing child pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Montana

BILLINGS  — A Billings man convicted of sending two videos of minor children engaged in sexually explicit conduct to an undercover officer was sentenced today to three years and five months in prison, to be followed by 10 years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.

Ethan Andrew Schilling, 25, pleaded guilty in January to a superseding information charging him with possession of child pornography.

U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters presided.

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. The undercover officer posed 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. During an interview with law enforcement, Schilling stated that he sent the videos and  acknowledged that it was illegal to send child pornography.

Zeno B. Baucus prosecuted the case. The FBI conducted the investigation.

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 J. Howard

Public Affairs Officer



Updated September 27, 2023

Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 23-366