Piqua man sentenced in ‘graphic’ child porn case

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A Piqua man was sentenced Tuesday to 17 months in prison on child pornography related charges in a case an assistant Miami County prosecutor said involved “extraordinarily young” victims in “some of the most graphic photos” she’d seen.

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Joshua Schwarz, 29, was arrested in February on 21 felony charges accusing him of possessing materials depicting children as young as infants in sexually related poses and activities in August 2016. He initially was also charged with tampering with evidence for allegedly attempting to erase or destroy evidence.

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Schwarz pleaded guilty in May in county Common Pleas Court to five counts each of illegal use of a minor in nudity oriented material or performance and pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor.

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Defense lawyer Patrick Mulligan said Schwarz had no prior criminal record and had voluntarily sought counseling.

“I am sorry for the things I have done. I have found counseling very beneficial to me and my family,” Schwarz said.

Janna Parker, assistant county prosecutor, asked Judge Christopher Gee to consider the large volume of photos involved and Schwarz’s efforts to destroy evidence. Piqua police reported that during the investigation they found a trash bag with CDs and VHS tapes, some damaged or destroyed, left near Schwarz's home for trash collection.

Schwarz had a history of collecting photos depicting child pornography, and had made efforts to engage in conversations with others and schedule meetings associated with the photos, Parker said.

“It was totally disgusting to view,” Parker said of photos investigators obtained.

Gee said information he received indicated Schwarz had a child pornography proclivity since he was young, with reports indicating problems dating to 2004. He said there were no words that could describe his feelings about exploitation of children, adding there was no doubt children of the “very tender age” shown in photos would have suffered physical and/or psychological harm.

Schwarz was classified as a Tier II sex offender, requiring him to register his address with the sheriff’s office in the county where he lives every 180 days for 25 years once he is released in prison. He was given credit for three days in jail.

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