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Press Release

Dubuque Man Who Solicited Explicit Photos from an Eleven-Year-Old Girl Sentenced to Two Decades in Federal Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Also Possessed Thousands of Images of Child Sexual Abuse Material, Including of Other Minor Girls He Had Communicated with Through an Online App

A man who possessed child sexual abuse material and solicited sexually explicit images from minor children was sentenced today to 20 years in federal prison.

Steven Niedert, age 47, from Dubuque, Iowa, received the prison term after an August 14, 2023, guilty plea to one count of receipt of child pornography.

In a plea agreement, Niedert admitted he communicated with an eleven-year-old girl in November and December 2017.  The communications occurred using an app called AntiChat, which does not automatically retain copies of communications.  During those communications, Niedert asked the girl to send him sexually explicit photos, including two photos in which the victim was digitally penetrating herself.  The victim’s mother discovered the communications and reported them to the police.

Police officers used Niedert’s AntiChat and social media usernames to identify him as the individual communicating with the victim.  Pursuant to search warrant, officers searched Niedert’s Dubuque home in January 2019.  The officers seized numerous electronic devices.  Officers discovered thousands of files containing child sexual abuse material on the devices.  The files included the explicit images the victim had sent, as well as communications and images Niedert solicited from other minors.   

Niedert was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Chief Judge C.J. Williams.  Niedert was sentenced to 240 months’ imprisonment.  He was ordered to pay $9,000 in restitution.  He must also serve a five-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.  Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit  For more information about Internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab “resources.”

Niedert is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Patrick Reinert and Tony Morfitt and investigated by the Dubuque Police Department, the Manitowoc, Wisconsin, Police Department, and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation. 

Court file information at

The case file number is 23-CR-1007.

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Updated February 27, 2024

Project Safe Childhood