Webb City man pleads guilty to sexual exploitation of children

Could get at least 15 years in prison
Guilty Plea

WEBB CITY, Mo. – A federal judge accepts the guilty plea of a Webb City man for sexually exploiting two child victims.

By pleading guilty today, Harley Wayne Schrader, 26, admitted that he solicited pornographic images from an 8-year-old child victim. The U.S. Attorney’s Office says he also sent her pornographic images of himself through Facebook Messenger.

Schrader also admitted that he solicited pornographic images from a 16-year-old victim he met through a video game.

2017 crimes

A Joplin, Mo., police officer took a report on July 7, 2017, that Schrader was sending inappropriate pictures to the child victim through Facebook Messenger. Investigators also found sexually explicit images of the child victim that had been sent to Schrader through Facebook Messenger.

On Oct. 4, 2017, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Schrader’s residence and seized his cell phone. During an interview with officers, Schrader also admitted that he met a 16-year-old female through the video game Immortal Knight, and she sent him nude images of herself. Investigators found multiple messages between Schrader and the 16-year-old victim on his cell phone, as well as images of child pornography.

Sentencing

Under federal statutes, Schrader is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of 30 years in federal prison without parole. Under the terms of today’s plea agreement, the government will recommend no more than a concurrent 18-year term of incarceration.

The court will determine what length of sentence for Schrader based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.

Court officials will schedule a hearing after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ami Harshad Miller is prosecuting the case. The FBI, the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crime Task Force, and the Joplin, Mo., Police Department investigated.

Project Safe Childhood

Information from the U.S. Justice Department:

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. The Department of Justice launched the nationwide initiative in May 2006. They want it to help 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.”