A Troy man was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for attempted commercial sex trafficking of a child and attempted enticement of a minor.
In a press release Tuesday, Acting U.S. Attorney James L. Porter said Shane L. Schlaefer, 28, also was ordered to pay a $500 fine and a $200 special assessment. When he is released from prison, Schlaefer will be on federal supervised release for an additional 15 years. He has been in custody since he was arrested on these charges on April 6, 2015.
Documents filed in the U.S. District Court establish that in November 2014, during an authorized undercover internet investigation, a special investigator with the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force received numerous messages from Schlaefer in which he stated that he wanted to engage in sexual acts with a child. From Nov. 14, 2014, to April 6, 2015, Schlaefer sent continuous messages requesting that the undercover investigator, posing as the mother of a 13-year-old girl, travel from Ohio to Illinois to allow Schlaefer to engage in sexual acts with the minor. Schlaefer offered to pay her $500. He also sent text messages directly to who he believed was the 13-year-old girl describing the sexual acts he wanted to perform. On April 6, 2015, the undercover investigator, communicating in an undercover capacity, agreed to travel to Troy with her 13-year-old daughter to allow Schlaefer to engage sexual acts with the child.
On the night of April 6, 2015, Schlaefer arrived at a predetermined location in Collinsville, exited his vehicle and was arrested by federal agents before entering the building. Schlaefer had $500 in U.S. currency in a sealed envelope within his pants pocket. During an interview with law enforcement, Schlaefer admitted that he had been communicating online with a woman who he thought was the mother of a 13-year-old girl living in Ohio and that he had offered to pay the woman $500 to drive to Illinois with her daughter to allow him to engage in sexual acts with the child. Schlaefer admitted that when he arrived at the pre-determined location, it was his intent to get a room at a nearby hotel where he would then engage in sexual intercourse with the child.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. 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, visit usdoj.gov/psc. For information about internet safety education, visit usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”
The investigation was conducted by investigators for the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the U.S. Secret Service Southern Illinois Cyber-Crime Unit and the Illinois State Police. The case was assigned to Assistant U.S. Attorney Ali Summers for prosecution.