Michigan soldier charged with transferring obscene matter to child

An Army soldier who had been stationed in Afghanistan faces a federal charge of transfer of obscene matter to a minor after explicit communications he had with someone he thought was a 12-year-old girl.

Spc. Timothy J. Thibault, of Garden, Mich., was actually chatting with federal investigators who had assumed control of an email address a different man had been using to trade child pornography.

Thibault, who was 41 during the fall of 2011 when the alleged chats took place, is scheduled for a March 11 change of plea hearing in Dayton’s U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.

According to an affidavit filed by a special agent with the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Army Spc. Thibault streamed video of himself masturbating to an email controlled by investigators. Thibault also asked the girl to send him a pair of worn panties to Afghanistan, court documents alleged.

The special agent wrote that search warrant results revealed hundreds of similar chat sessions, including numerous ones Thibault had with alleged 11- to 16-year-old girls. The person who originally operated the email address has been charged with receiving and possessing child pornography in the Southern District of Ohio. Images sent to Thibault from the person originally controlling the email included images of a nude female approximately 12 years old.