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GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – Lori Ann Roth, 53, of Battle Creek, Michigan, received the maximum possible sentence of 30 years in federal prison for producing pornography of a child less than 12 years old, U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles announced today. Roth pled guilty in November 2014 to sexually exploiting the child in a conspiracy with Brandon Schroth, 41, a serial child molester who traveled around the world abusing and photographing children between 2009 and 2011. Roth was also ordered to pay a $25,000 fine and will spend ten years on supervised release after completing her 30-year prison term.
Roth met Schroth in a chatroom, where they discussed with each other and numerous other people their shared sexual interest in children. After several years of communicating online and by phone, Schroth traveled to Michigan three times in 2009 and 2010 to meet Roth and molest a child together. Roth and Schroth went to hotels, brought adult lingerie for the child to wear, gave the child alcohol, and on one occasion put a prescription sleep aid in the child’s drink to facilitate the sexual abuse. Both Roth and Schroth engaged in sexual conduct with the child and took pictures. Schroth sent the pictures to others, and the images were eventually discovered on another person’s computer during a separate investigation in Atlanta, which led back to Schroth. In 2012, Schroth pled guilty in federal court in California to 12 counts of producing child pornography and aggravated sexual abuse of various children, and he is currently serving a 40-year sentence. In pleading guilty, Schroth provided information to law enforcement that led to the identification and prosecution of Roth.
In imposing the sentence, Chief U.S. District Judge Paul L. Maloney stated that in his more than 20 years on the bench he had difficulty finding “another instance of depravity lower than this one. The depravity of this defendant is beyond words.” Noting that Roth had no explanation for her conduct, he described her actions as heinous and declared that she “does not deserve to be among free citizens again.” Chief Judge Maloney recommended that she cooperate with mental health professionals while incarcerated to help them better understand child sex offenders.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tessa K. Hessmiller prosecuted the case.
This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from exploitation and abuse. The U.S. Attorney’s Office; county prosecutor’s offices; and federal, state, and local law enforcement are working closely together to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children. Individuals with information or concerns about possible child exploitation should contact local law enforcement. For more information about Project Safe Childhood in West Michigan, including resources for children and parents, visit: /usao-wdmi/project-safe-childhood.