Friday, February 3, 2023

Former officer, Argyle resident serving 10+ years for child exploitation

A former Denton police officer was sentenced this fall to more than 10 years in federal prison for child exploitation violations.

David Schoolcraft, a 39-year-old Argyle resident, was arrested last year by the FBI and pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography. He was sentenced to 121 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Amos L. Mazzant on Sept. 22, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Texas.

According to information presented in court, Schoolcraft came to the attention of law enforcement when it was discovered that he was distributing child pornography on social media between December 2020 and January 2021. An investigation revealed that he was engaged in this activity while at the Denton Police Department, where he served as a police officer, as well as at his home in Argyle. Federal agents served search warrants and met with Schoolcraft in February 2021, at which time Schoolcraft admitted to using a social media and his cell phone to trade child pornography, according to the news release. Schoolcraft admitted to possessing images and videos of prepubescent minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, including children who were bound and sexually abused by adults.

“Children are the most precious and vulnerable members of our society, and justice and basic human decency demands that we do everything in our power to protect them from harm,” said U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston. “Schoolcraft violated his oath of office as a police officer and the trust of our community, and instead of protecting children he took pleasure in viewing children being sexually exploited and harmed. Although no sentence can make up for the pain he caused, this sentence should put everyone on notice that the Eastern District of Texas will not tolerate this behavior.”

This case is 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. Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, visit www.justice.gov/psc.

“The details of this case are upsetting not only because it involves the distribution of material exploiting children, but also because the perpetrator was a police officer who was expected to serve and protect his community,” said FBI Dallas Special Agent in Charge Matthew DeSarno. “The FBI and our law enforcement partners consistently work together to hold child predators accountable for their actions. We are also steadfast in our commitment to protect children from individuals who seek to exploit their innocence.”

Mark Smith
Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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