Trip to computer repair shop nets sex offender 12 years in jail

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Bruce R. Schmidt

LANCASTER, Pa. — A registered sex offender who was arrested last year after child pornography was discovered on his computer will serve 12 to 24 years in state prison. Bruce R. Schmidt was busted after he took his computer to a repair shop in Ephrata, where technicians discovered the child pornography and reported it to police.

Schmidt, 53, made a plea agreement last week in Lancaster County Court.

Assistant District Attorney Janie Swinehart negotiated the agreement in exchange for Schmidt pleading guilty to felony counts of possessing child pornography and illegal use of a computer.

The crimes were violations of Schmidt’s parole. He was convicted and sentenced last year to 6 to 23 months in prison for indecent assault of a child.

He is a registered sex offender under Megan’s Law for the rest of his life.

In April, he brought his laptop to Free Geek Penn, an Ephrata computer business, and asked that a “virus” be removed.

Staff contacted police, who in turn uncovered hundreds of images of child pornography. Schmidt admitted to using the laptop to view child pornography.

Ephrata police Detective Peter Sheppard filed charges.

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