JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A corrections officer at the Jefferson City Correctional Center and his wife have been indicted by a federal grand jury on additional charges related to video recording their sexual assault of a child victim and other child pornography offenses.
Paul Emerson Schofield, 33, and his wife, Sara Ellen Schofield, 29, both of Jefferson City, were charged in a 12-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Jefferson City on Wednesday, Aug. 3. The federal indictment replaces two separate criminal complaints against the defendants, which charged each of them with using a minor to produce child pornography. The Schofields have been in federal custody without bond since their arrest on July 13, 2022.
The federal indictment alleges that Paul and Sara Schofield participated in a conspiracy to produce child pornography over a nearly three-year period from July 29, 2019, to June 7, 2022. A child victim under the age of 12 allegedly was used to produce child pornography. In addition to the conspiracy, Paul Schofield is charged with four counts of producing child pornography and Sara Schofield is charged with two counts of producing child pornography.
Paul Schofield is also charged with one count of advertising child pornography, one count of receiving child pornography, one count of distributing child pornography, and one count of transporting child pornography.
Sara Schofield is also charged with one count of transferring obscene material to a minor.
According to an affidavit filed in support of the original criminal complaints, the investigation began when law enforcement received a CyberTip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children on April 25, 2022. Kik, a free online social media platform, reported that a user later identified as Paul Schofield had uploaded multiple videos of child sexual exploitation material.
Law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at the Schofield’s residence on June 7, 2022. A forensic examiner conducted a preview of Paul Schofield’s cell phone and located several videos of child pornography, including infants engaged in sexual contact with adults. Examiners later found videos on the phone of both Paul and Sara Schofield sexually assaulting an unconscious 4-year-old victim.
On June 9, 2022, law enforcement officers executed another search warrant at the Schofield’s residence. Officers seized Sara Schofield’s cell phone, which contained another sexually explicit video of the same 4-year-old victim in which the voices of Paul and Sara Schofield can be heard.
The charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ashley Turner. It was investigated by the Boone County, Mo., Sheriff’s Office Cyber Crimes Task Force 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.”