The US Attorney's Office for the District of Montana announced today a Billings man admitted to child pornography charges today, after sending two videos of minor children engaged in sexually explicit conduct to an undercover officer.

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What happened

According to the court documents, the United States Government alleged that in March 2022, law enforcement agents were conducting an undercover investigation, and began messaging Schilling on a social media site. During these messages, the officer posed as the relative of a 12-year-old girl.

Schilling began communicating his intentions, which were sexually related. Schilling offered "pics" he had to the undercover officer, posing as the relative of a 12-year-old girl.

Schilling then sent the undercover officer two videos of a prepubescent minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

In May 2022, law enforcement served a search warrant at Schilling's home. Schilling then informed law enforcement he did send the videos and agreed that it was illegal to send child pornography and that he obtained these videos from someone else.

Who are they and what charges do they face

Ethan Andrew Schilling, 25, pleaded guilty to charges of possession of child pornography. Schilling faces a maximum of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and five years of supervised release.

About the case

This case was initiated under the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood initiative, which was launched in 2006 to combat the proliferation of technology-facilitated crimes involving the sexual exploitation of children.

Through a network of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and advocacy organizations, Project Safe Childhood attempts to protect children by investigating and prosecuting offenders involved in child sexual exploitation.

It is implemented through partnerships including the Montana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. The ICAC Task Force Program was created to assist state and local law enforcement agencies by enhancing their investigative response to technology-facilitated crimes against children.

The complete release is available here.

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