Schmidt, Kenneth L.

Kenneth L. Schmidt, 43, is charged with 22 counts of possession of child pornography, 15 counts of sexual abuse of a minor, 15 counts of corruption of a minor, 11 counts of criminal solicitation of a child, two counts of unlawful contact with a minor, two counts of dissemination of sexually explicit materials to a minor and one count of identity theft.

An East Earl Township man already awaiting trial on multiple child sex crime charges now faces dozens of additional charges after he was found with hundreds of images of juveniles who were nude or performing sexual acts, according to East Earl Township police.

Kenneth Lee Schmidt, 43, was charged with 70 new offenses Thursday after he was found sexting more than a dozen young girls, sending pictures and videos of his genitals to at least two of them, police said.

On July 14, investigators searched Schmidt’s home, where he admitted to police that he had “huge” cache of child pornography, according to an affidavit of probable cause. Schmidt told police his collection of pornographic images was so large that he “could scroll through them for the rest of my life and never look at the same image twice.”

Schmidt told authorities he had created multiple Instagram accounts posing as a teenage boy with the intention of meeting young girls and encouraging them to send nude images and videos of themselves to him, police said. He also told investigators he had “masturbated together” with multiple juveniles.

A search of Schmidt’s cellphone and computer revealed hundreds of images and videos of suspected child pornography, police said.

Schmidt was taken into custody July 16 on multiple child-sex-crime charges, according to court documents.

Minors from across the U.S. ranging from 13 to 17 years old believed they were communicating with a teenage boy named “Ben,” who was in fact Schmidt using an alias, according to the affidavit. Investigators were able to identify the boy, whose images Schmidt used for the alter-ego, and he was unaware that his likeness had been used. Juveniles who had communicated with Schmidt were able to identify pictures of the boy as “Ben.”

Lancaster County detectives had received a tip in June that an Instagram account traced to Schmidt had shared a nude image of two young girls, according to the affidavit. Investigators also learned of a 2018 FBI investigation that had traced social media messages containing child pornography to IP addresses located at Schmidt’s home on the first block of Terrie Lane and at a diner in Gap where he worked.

Schmidt’s new charges include 22 counts of possession of child pornography, 15 counts of sexual abuse of a minor, 15 counts of corruption of a minor, 11 counts of criminal solicitation of a child, two counts of unlawful contact with a minor, two counts of dissemination of sexually explicit materials to a minor and one count of identity theft.

Schmidt is currently awaiting trial on two counts of possession of child pornography, one count of dissemination of child sex acts and five counts of criminal use of communication. He had previously pleaded guilty to retail theft in 2017 and was sentenced to two years of probation.

Schmidt’s attorney declined a request for comment.


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