Christopher D. Schroeder

A Warren County man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for transporting a minor from Ohio across state lines to engage in criminal sexual activity at his home in Lake Sherwood.

Christopher D. Schroeder, 42, pleaded guilty to the charge in July. He was sentenced Thursday by U.S District Court Judge Henry Autrey.

Schroeder was arrested one year ago when Warren County deputies went to his home in Lake Sherwood and found the 15-year-old girl who had been held captive for more than three weeks.

After the two met on an Internet chat forum, Schroeder drove to Brooklyn, Ohio, a Cleveland suburb and picked up the girl at an agreed upon location. He then drove her back to Warren County where he “engaged in sexual intercourse with her and recorded two of the sex acts without her knowledge,” the U.S. attorney’s office said.

Authorities allege that the man raped the girl repeatedly for nearly a month.

Schroeder allegedly took the girl’s cellphone, removed the battery and destroyed the SIM card, authorities reported.

Schroeder told the girl she was to have sex with him, clean his house and could not use the Internet or telephone unless she received permission, according to the criminal complaint filed in federal court. Schroeder also told the teen not to provide her real name to anyone and that she needed to cut or color her hair and lose weight.

Based on information received from the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children, Warren County deputies executed a search warrant at Schroeder’s home on Dec. 1 and rescued the teen.

Investigators said Facebook messages helped track down the teen. One of the messages, prosecutors said, read: “I haven’t hurt her, I don’t plan on it, but she keeps crying.”

While searching Schroeder’s home, police seized videos showing him raping the girl, according to charging documents.

The girl told Schroeder she wanted to go home, but she was afraid to leave because he had numerous guns in the home, according to authorities.

After he was taken into custody, Schroeder told authorities that he thought the girl was 18 and that someone else had brought her to Missouri, court records said.

However, a search of Schroeder’s vehicle allegedly revealed a receipt from a fast-food restaurant and a traffic ticket, both from Ohio and dated Nov. 8.  

The case was investigated by the FBI, the Brooklyn Police Department, St. Charles County Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and the Warren County Sheriff’s Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Colleen Lang handled the case.