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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Schertz Man Indicted for Kidnapping, Child Exploitation

In San Antonio, a 34-year-old Schertz, TX, resident waived his arraignment, thus pleading not guilty to charge involving kidnapping and child exploitation, announced U.S. Attorney John F. Bash and FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division.

Yesterday, Kraig David Van Winkle filed a waiver of arraignment with the Court.  In response, the Court filed an automatic plea of not guilty on behalf of the defendant to charges contained in a federal grand jury indictment returned on February 5, 2020, namely one count of transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and one count of interstate kidnapping of a minor.

According to court documents filed in this case, two weeks after meeting a 13-year-old child online, Van Winkle allegedly left Schertz on January 8, 2020, and traveled out of state to meet the child. He then kidnapped and transported the child back to his residence in Schertz with the intent of engaging in sexual activity. After the child was reported missing, tips from the public lead authorities to Van Winkle.

FBI personnel arrested Van Winkle at his residence on January 11, 2020, and rescued the child victim.

Upon conviction, Van Winkle faces up to 20 years in federal prison for the kidnapping charge and a minimum of ten years to life imprisonment for the transportation with intent to engage in sexual activity charge.  Van Winkle remains in federal custody.

The San Antonio FBI Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, which includes the San Antonio Police Department and the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, investigated this case with assistance from FBI Little Rock and the Springdale Police Department in Springdale, Arkansas. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracy Thompson is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

It is important to note that an indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice.  Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated February 19, 2020