A Minnesota National Guardsman has been charged with enticing a 14-year-old girl to send nude photos of herself via the Internet to him in Afghanistan and having sexually explicit communication with dozens of other teens over social media.
Andrew L. Schiller, 28, of Lakeville, also is accused of sending the girls sexually explicit photos of himself, federal prosecutors said Wednesday in announcing the indictment.
Schiller was charged last week in federal court in Minneapolis with one count of production of child pornography and ordered jailed Wednesday by Magistrate Judge Becky R. Thorson.
"Schiller targeted, in particular, minor females who lived on or near military bases," a prosecution court filing read.
Schiller's LinkedIn profile notes his role in the Army National Guard as well as his civilian work in financial services and as a fitness trainer. It says he graduated from Bethel University in 2011.
Schiller is represented by attorney Marsh Halberg, who was retained as of Wednesday for a detention hearing and who said it was too early for him to comment on the merits of the prosecution's case.
According to prosecutors and military investigators:
Schiller contacted a 14-year-old Minnesota girl, a teen he knew before his deployment, via Skype. During repeated communications with the girl from September 2013 until January 2014, he called her "Babe" and "Hon," and he succeeded in getting her to send him sexually explicit photos of herself.
Schiller also used Facebook and other social media to communicate with dozens of girls ages 13 to 17. He used identities such as "funinlife" on MyLOL, "thriller_a_schiller3" on Skype and "mnfuntimes" on Meet Me.
He also used KIK, an instant messaging app for mobile devices that allows the sharing of photographs and other content.
Schiller steered the conversation to sex and tried to persuade the girls to send him sexually explicit videos or images. He shared sexually explicit images of himself to encourage the girls to reciprocate, and promised money or alcohol.
In an interview with a military investigator, Schiller admitted to searching online for underage girls and said that some of them would send him nude photos of themselves. He described this part of his life as a "dark period" when he was doing "stupid things."
Authorities searched his laptop computer, tablet and cellphone and found a video of a preteen girl having sex with a man.
In arguing for Schiller's detention before trial, federal investigators noted that he was charged about four years ago with having sex with a 15-year-old girl. The case was dismissed after Schiller and the girl said he believed she was 18.