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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Missouri

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Former Joplin Teacher Pleads Guilty to Enticing a Minor for Sex, Faces at Least 10 Years in Prison

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A former Joplin, Missouri, middle school teacher has pleaded guilty in federal court to charges related to enticing one of her students to engage in illicit sex.

Amanda Ruth Schweitzer, 41, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush on Tuesday, June 16, to enticing a minor for illegal sexual activity.

Schweitzer was a teacher at North Middle School in Joplin at the time of the offense.

The 13-year-old victim, who was a student of Schweitzer’s, reported Schweitzer sent nude photos of herself to the victim, with whom she primarily communicated via Instagram, and engaged in sexual intercourse with the victim on at least two occasions in March 2017. The victim reported that he also sent a nude image of himself to Schweitzer.

Under federal statutes, Schweitzer is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of life in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ami Harshad Miller. It was investigated by the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force, the Joplin, Mo., Police Department, and the FBI.

Project Safe Childhood
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 www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated June 17, 2020