SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Webb City, Missouri, man pleaded guilty in federal court today to the sexual exploitation of two victims, an 8-year old and a 16-year old.
Harley Wayne Schrader, 26, pleaded guilty before U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge David P. Rush to two counts of the sexual exploitation of a child.
By pleading guilty today, Schrader admitted that he solicited pornographic images from an 8-year-old child victim and that he sent her pornographic images of himself through Facebook Messenger. Schrader also admitted that he solicited pornographic images from a 16-year-old victim he met through a video game.
A Joplin, Mo., police officer took a report on July 7, 2017, that Schrader was sending inappropriate pictures to the child victim through Facebook Messenger. Investigators also found sexually explicit images of the child victim that had been sent to Schrader through Facebook Messenger.
On Oct. 4, 2017, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Schrader’s residence and seized his cell phone. During an interview with officers, Schrader also admitted that he met a 16-year-old female through the video game Immortal Knight, and she sent him nude images of herself. Investigators found multiple messages between Schrader and the 16-year-old victim on his cell phone, as well as images of child pornography.
Under federal statutes, Schrader is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of 30 years in federal prison without parole. Under the terms of today’s plea agreement, the government will recommend no more than a concurrent 18-year term of incarceration. 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 FBI, the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crime Task Force, and the Joplin, Mo., Police Department.
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.”