Minot, ND – A 23-year-old security forces airman (military law enforcement) at Minot Air Force Base was sentenced to three years and required to register as a sex offender for luring a minor by computer.
In December, Christopher David Schroeder fell for a law enforcement sting, which had him convinced he was meeting a 16-year-old girl for sex.
He cried in court on Thursday as he apologized for his action. He promised he would not commit any more offenses.
Schroeder has yet to receive punishment from the Air Force, which will likely end his career.
A Ward County Assistant State’s Attorney asked for a sentence of five years in prison, with a requirement that he serve at least three years.
She said she believed that Schroeder tried minimize the offense and was likely to reoffend despite an investigator saying had a low to moderate risk of reoffending, according to the The Minot Daily News.
Schroeder’s attorney said the suggested sentence was outrageous. She cited that other defendants have received far lower sentences in cases where there were actual victims.
The judge noted Schroeder’s status in the Air Force as a law enforcement officer meant he had a position of public trust. The court Schroeder too in account that Schroeder had no prior criminal record.
The judge sentenced Schroeder to three years, with a requirement that he serve one year, and three years of supervised probation. In addition to registering as a sex offender, he must complete a sex offender treatment program.
Schroeder was accused of responding to an online ad on Craigslist posted by a man who said he was looking for a “threescore or hook up.” Schroeder responded to a response from a police officer, posing as the fictitious sixteen-year-old girl, saying he was 22 years of age.
Schroeder and the officer exchanged photographs. Schroeder sent a picture of himself standing in front of a mirror in response to a picture of a female sheriff’s deputy that was taken when she was 16.
After exchanging sexually explicit messages and arranging to meet in the parking lot, Schoeder showed up in his wife’s car.
In his defense, he told police that he came to meet the 16-year-old to tell her that she should not be on Craigslist meeting people. He claimed that because he was a military police officer he wanted to do a “reverse bust.”