Schwarz sentenced in child porn case

By Aimee Hancock

ahancock@aimmediamidwest.com

TROY — A Piqua man was sentenced to five years in prison Monday after pleading guilty to 10 counts of pandering obscenity involving a minor earlier this year.

Joshua L. Schwarz, 33, was arrested in February and originally charged with 15 counts of pandering obscenity involving a minor, all felonies of the third degree, following an investigation by the Piqua Police Department. He later pleaded guilty to 10 of the counts.

“My job is to protect children, to protect the community, and you’re a menace to it,” Judge Jeannine Pratt said during sentencing.

According to Miami County Sheriff’s Office records, Schwarz was convicted of similar charges in 2017.

In May 2017, Schwarz pleaded guilty to five counts of pandering sexually-oriented material involving a minor, all felonies of the fourth degree, and five counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material, all felonies of the fifth degree. He was sentenced to and served 17 months in prison for these charges. Following his release from prison in January 2019, Schwarz was under post-release control, which ended in July 2020.

During Monday’s hearing, Schwarz addressed the court briefly.

“I would like to say I am sorry, not only for the people around me, but also the children in these photos. I do realize they were taken advantage of, and they are re-victimized every time those photos are viewed,” he said.

Schwarz went on to say pornography is “coping mechanism” that he uses to deal with stress and issues in his life. He said he would like to be given the opportunity to “go through a proper program” and meet with a psychologist to help with his “mental problems.”

Pratt noted that as a result of his prior conviction of similar charges, Schwarz has participated in such rehabilitation and reform programs with seemingly no effect on his risk of recidivism.

“It’s not working; you’re not rehabilitated. You’re not addressing your addiction,” Pratt said. “You might have bought into this programming, but you’re not getting any better. You’re holding back something … you’re hiding.”

Pratt also acknowledged that Schwarz’s most recent offenses also included the act of sharing and “trading” child pornography online.

“Mr. Schwarz, the fact that we’re back here in such a short amount of time with regard to the same or similar conduct is ridiculous and non-sensical,” Pratt said. “Now, we’re at the point where you’re not only gathering this explicit, denigrating material, you’re sharing it and trading it; that’s a step up. Your conduct is reprehensible.”

Pratt handed down a five-year sentence for each 10 counts, to be served concurrently. He was given 151 days of jail credit. Following release from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, Schwarz will be placed on mandatory post-release control for five years and will be required to register as a Tier III sex offender every 90 days for life.