Jail Corrections Officer, Wife Charged with Producing Child Pornography

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A corrections officer at the Jefferson City Correctional Center and his wife were charged in federal court today with video recording their sexual assault of a 4-year-old victim.

Paul Emerson Schofield, 33, and his wife, Sara Ellen Schofield, 29, of Jefferson City, each were charged in separate criminal complaints filed in the U.S. District Court in Jefferson City. The federal criminal complaints charge the Schofields with using a minor to produce child pornography.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaints, the investigation began when law enforcement received a CyberTip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children on April 25, 2022. Kik, a free online social media platform, reported that a user later identified as Paul Schofield had uploaded multiple videos of child sexual exploitation material.

Law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at the Schofield’s residence on June 7, 2022. A forensic examiner conducted a preview of Paul Schofield’s cell phone and located several videos of child pornography, including infants engaged in sexual contact with adults. Examiners later found videos on the phone of both Paul and Sara Schofield sexually assaulting an unconscious 4-year-old victim.

On June 9, 2022, law enforcement officers executed another search warrant at the Schofield’s residence. Officers seized Sara Schofield’s cell phone, which contained another sexually explicit video of the same 4-year-old victim in which the voices of Paul and Sara Schofield can be heard.

The charges contained in these complaints are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

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This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ashley Turner. It was investigated by the Boone County, Mo., Sheriff’s Office, the Cyber Crimes Task Force.

Project Safe Childhood

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc . For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”

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