The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Northern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Virginia State Police.
According to court records, Schimmel met the minor victim through the Internet and convinced the victim to meet in person for the purpose of engaging in criminal sexual activity. Schimmel then video recorded the sexual encounter without the victim’s knowledge. Further investigation revealed that Schimmel had been engaging in similar communications with other minors in the mid-Atlantic area.
This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423 or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-843-5678.
HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.
Assistant U.S. attorneys Alexander T.H. Nguyen and Ryan K. Dickey are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.