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Child Exploitation
05/28/2010

Philadelphia man extradited from Cyprus to face charges of sex tourism in the United States

International law enforcement agencies work together in bringing Schneider to face justice in U.S.

PHILADELPHIA - Kenneth Schneider, 45, the founder and president of the Apogee Foundation, arrived in Philadelphia today after being extradited from Cyprus to face charges on child sex tourism-traveling for the purpose of engaging in sex with a minor, and transporting a person for criminal sexual conduct. Schneider was arrested March 27, 2010, in Larnaca, Cyprus.

The investigation into Schneider's alleged criminal activity was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Investigations in Philadelphia, ICE Attaché Moscow, ICE Attaché Athens, the FBI, Interpol and the Investigative Committee of the General Procuracy of the Russian Federation.

According to the two-count indictment unsealed on March 30, 2010, in Philadelphia, Schneider traveled to Moscow, Russia, in the summer of 1998 where he told two ballet instructors at the Moscow State Academy of Choreography that he was willing to provide "assistance" to students attending the academy. The instructors identified a 12-year-old student whose family could no longer afford to pay his board.

Schneider allegedly convinced the boy's parents to allow him to live with Schneider in an apartment a few blocks from the school. The indictment further alleges that from the fall of 1998 until 2004, Schneider engaged in a sexual relationship with the victim, bringing the victim to Philadelphia for a summer program in 2001, returning to Moscow with the victim in August 2001 to continue the sexual relationship.

If convicted, Schneider faces a maximum possible prison sentence of 15 years on the count of traveling for the purpose of engaging in sex with a minor, and a maximum possible sentence of 10 years in prison on the charge of transporting a person for criminal sexual conduct.

The successful extradition was facilitated by the ICE Athens office working in concert with Cypriot authorities, U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Embassy.