Man charged with sexual assault of teen pleads not guilty
WAUKESHA — 21-year-old Daniel Schmidt, the Waukesha man charged with second degree sexual assault of a child pleaded not guilty during his preliminary hearing Friday morning, June 15th.
Schmidt was charged after allegedly meeting and having sexual contact with a 13-year-old boy.
The criminal complaint indicates Schmidt first had contact with the victim in an age-restricted group on Skout.com that included only 13-16 year olds.
Skout is a social network originally designed to connect people with nearby strangers for the purposes of flirting.
Schmidt allegedly represented himself as being 16 years old. The initial contact between Schmidt and the victim included the victim sending a picture of his genitalia.
The complaint indicates Schmidt and the victim made arrangements to meet in person in Muskego on Saturday, June 2nd. They then apparently drove to a park in Hales Corners where the complaint says the two engaged in touching and oral sex.
The complaint says a woman walking her dog in the park saw what was going on and alerted Hales Corners Police. Officers made contact with Schmidt and the victim as they left the wooded area of the park.
A Hales Corners police officer suggests that parents know exactly what their underage kids are doing on the internet at all times. Kent Schoonover says chatrooms and sites like Skout.com are the worst the internet has to offer. He says he has seen internet-based crimes grow rapidly over his 35 years in office.
“You’re setting up a stranger to a stranger. You have no idea who this person is. Even teenagers. They shouldn’t be on the internet unless mom and dad are right there,” Schoonover said.
Schmidt faces up to 40 years in prison and $100,000 in fines if he is found guilty of the charge.
FOX6′s media partners at Patch.com reported Skout.com has decided to suspend access to its teenage users after one too many connections ended up in sexual assaults of minors. CLICK HERE to read more about that side of this story.
A 15-year-old girl in Ohio, and a 12-year-old girl in California say they were raped by men posing as teens on Skout.
Wednesday, June 13th, the site shut down their teen section.
A message from Skout CEO Christian Wiklund reads:
“We will not compromise the safety of our community, and right now, our concerns are too significant to simply stand by and do nothing. We are working around the clock to build better safeguards, including mechanisms for age verification, and we`re partnering with a leading risk management advisory firm to strengthen our current security measures.”