Guilty plea in child pornography case involving Canandaigua girl

Posted at: 04/08/2014 3:34 AM
By: Megan Brandow, Messenger Post

A North Carolina man who was charged in 2010 with illegally transporting a 14-year-old Canandaigua girl he met online to his home state has pleaded guilty.

William H. Schliebener Jr., 51, formerly of Sanford, NC, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci Jr. to transporting a minor in interstate commerce for the purpose of illegal sexual activity and production of child pornography. Schliebener was scheduled to go to trial on the charges today.

Schliebener was originally charged in October 2010 when he allegedly kidnapped and raped the 14-year-old victim whom he’d been communicating with through a social media website. He was indicted in March 2011.

The case came to the attention of law enforcement when the victim, then 14, was reported missing on Oct. 3, 2010. She was returned to her parents at their Canandaigua home two days later after law enforcement tracked texts, phone calls and online communication between her and Schliebener, who was 48 at the time.

Using his cell phone number they were able to find his address in Lee County, North Carolina and locate Schliebener and the victim.

Lee County sheriffs said the victim reported that Schliebener had sex with her, and she became afraid for her safety when he took the battery out of her phone. She also said she’d met the man online about a month ago, and he’d agreed to assist her in running away from home.

After the victim was discovered at Schliebener’s residence, law enforcement officers under a search warrant seized computers and digital media, revealing images of Schliebener engaged in sexual activity with three children. As part of his plea last week, Schliebener also pleaded guilty to three counts of producing images of child pornography.

The plea was the culmination of an investigation on the part of FBI special agents, members of the Canandaigua Police Department and members of the Lee County Sheriff’s Department. Sentencing is scheduled for July 10.

The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison, and a fine of $250,000, or both.