National Guardsman indicted for allegedly producing child pornography

Andrew Schiller (Photo: Dakota County Sheriff's Office)
A Minnesota National Guardsman allegedly used multiple digital devices and social media accounts to repeatedly seek out teenage girls, engage them in sex chats and solicit them for sexually explicit photographs, the Justice Department said Wednesday.

The Guardsman, Andrew Schiller, 28, was indicted on one count of Production of Child Pornography by the Justice Department last week, the agency said in a statement. The investigation began when the mother of a teenage girl reported that she had found inappropriate comments between her 14-year-old daughter and Schiller on Facebook. Further investigation found Schiller had tried repeatedly to engage in “sexually explicit conduct online,” and sometimes succeeded with multiple female minors, including the unidentified 14-year-old girl.

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According to the allegations in the indictment, “between September 23 2013 and January 12, 2014, Schiller contacted a 14 year old girl from Minnesota via Skype,” and “during repeated communications with the girl” he asked her to send him sexually explicit images of herself. The victim “sent several images...including at least one sexually explicit image.” The indictment found Schiller "spent much of his time during his National Guard duty engaged in the sexual solicitation of minors."

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The indictment said Schiller was successful in soliciting sexually explicit images from at least three minors. During a single week in March 2013, he had reportedly contacted 86 girls between the ages of 13 and 17 using the teen dating site MyLOL. Schiller also shared sexually explicit images of himself to encourage the girls to respond, and promised money or alcohol in exchange for sexual pictures.

Schiller used Facebook and other social media platforms to communicate online with dozens of girls aged 13-17. He used identities such as 'funinlife' on MyLOL, “thriller_a_schiller3” on Skype, and “mnfuntimes” on MeetMe, steering the conversation to sex before persuading the girls to send him videos or images.

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The indictment said that during the investigation, authorities searched Schiller’s laptop computer, tablet and cellphone, and found one video of a preteen girl having sex with a man. In an interview with a military investigator, Schiller admitted to searching online for underage girls and that some of them would send him nude photos of themselves, something he pursued for several years. He described this part of his life as a “dark period” when he was doing “stupid things.”

Schiller was ordered detained pending trial. Arguing for Schiller’s detention before trial, federal investigators said he was charged about four years ago, before his deployment to Afghanistan, with having sex with a 15-year-old girl. The case was dismissed after Schiller and the girl said he believed she was 18.