Piqua man pleads guilty to charges related to child pornography

Miami Valley News

TROY, Ohio (WDTN) — A Piqua man submitted a waiver of grand jury indictment Tuesday afternoon and entered a plea of guilty in reference to the multiple charges filed against him, all relating to child pornography.

According to our partners at Miami Valley Today, in February of this year, Joshua L. Schwarz, 33, was charged with 15 counts of pandering obscenity involving a minor, all felonies of the third degree, following an investigation by the Piqua Police Department (PPD). He initially pleaded not guilty to the charges.

As part of the plea deal, Schwarz pleaded guilty Tuesday to 10 counts of pandering obscenity involving a minor, all third-degree felonies. In exchange, five of the original 15 counts of pandering obscenity involving a minor were dismissed.

Schwarz faces a maximum of 60 months in prison for each of the 10 counts, to be served consecutively or concurrently, at the court’s discretion, according to Judge Jeannine Pratt.

On Dec. 22, 2020, PPD received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). According to police reports, the search engine Google tipped off NCMEC regarding potentially illegal online activity. Investigators subsequently identified Joshua Schwarz as a possible suspect.

PPD later obtained a search warrant for Schwarz’s home. Fifteen items were taken from the home as evidence, including several cell phones, multiple laptops and tablets, a digital camera and a video camera.

According to the police report, while reviewing one of the cell phones, investigators discovered “several hundred” images of a sexual or suggestive nature involving females ranging from pre-school age to adult, varying in type from clothed to fully nude, and some depicting graphic sexual conduct.

Also discovered on the phone were several online searches in reference to “law enforcement sending nude photos in prostitution stings, undercover cops on Kik,” and similar queries.

In 2017, Schwarz was convicted of similar charges and was sentenced to 17 months in prison, five years of community control and was classified as a Tier II sex offender.

Schwarz’s sentencing hearing is set for May 10 at 10:30 a.m., prior to which a pre-sentence investigation will be conducted. His cash bond is set at $500,000.

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