Sacramento Man Pleads Guilty to Possession of Child Pornography
SACRAMENTO, CA—Four days before a trial was set to begin, Robert M. Schaefer, 68, of Sacramento, pleaded guilty today to possession of child pornography, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to court documents, from 2001 to 2010, Schaefer uploaded thousands of images of children being sexually exploited, including children under 10, to various file‑sharing websites. He would surf the Internet looking for people seeking particular types of photos, which he would then share from his extensive collection. His computers were seized once by the Sacramento Police Department in 2006, but Schaefer rebuilt his pornography collection and began collecting and sharing the materials again. The FBI seized his computers again on 2010 after the German Federal Police provided a tip that Schaefer had recently been uploading child pornography to a file-sharing site there.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Sacramento Internet Crimes against Children Task Force, and the Sacramento Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Matthew G. Morris and Brian A. Fogerty are prosecuting the case.
Schaefer is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Morrison C. England Jr. on June 25, 2015. Schaefer faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each of the two counts. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
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 those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. Click on the “resources” tab for information about Internet safety education.