Ex-Navy physician pleads guilty to child porn charges

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guiltySAN DIEGO — A former Navy physician’s assistant who engaged in sexually explicit conduct with a young girl so he could produce pornographic videos pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to sexual exploitation of a child and aggravated sexual abuse of a child.

Brandon W. Schroth, 39, faces a minimum of 30 years and up to life in prison when he is sentenced Feb. 11 by U.S. District Judge William Q. Hayes.

According to court documents, Schroth traveled to Frankfurt, Germany, between Dec. 18-26, 2010, to engage in sexual conduct with a minor so he could produce visual depictions of such conduct.

During that time, the defendant stayed with a then-active duty Air Force member and the mother of two girls, ages 9 and 11.

After Schroth returned to the United States, he took sexually explicit photos of a then- 9-year-old at his Mission Valley residence, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Court records reveal that Schroth communicated with a man named Jeffrey Allan Mueller in Colorado for the purpose of sharing the sexually explicit videos of the children.

The videos of the two girls produced in Germany, as well as several other sexually explicit images involving other minors under 12 produced by Schroth, were found in Mueller’s computer, prosecutors said.

Mueller pleaded guilty in July to production and transportation of child pornography and was sentenced to 40 years in federal prison.

During the investigation and prosecution of Schroth and Mueller, the government identified at least five additional producers of child porn and rescued about three dozen additional underage victims of ongoing sexual abuse who were depicted in child porn.

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