Valpo man found guilty of 23 felonies
By James D. Wolf Jr. Post-Tribune correspondent December 21, 2012 12:16AM
Ryan Schroeder, 26 of Valparaiso, who is currently in the United States Navy based in Jacksonville, Florida, was charged with aiding in Child Molestation, aiding in Child Exploitation, Possession of Child Pornography, aiding in Voyeurism, and aiding in Theft. | Provided Photo~Sun-Times Media ptmet
Updated: January 22, 2013 6:26AM
VALPARAISO — It took a jury less than three hours Thursday to find a Valparaiso man guilty of 23 felonies involving the sexual exploitation of minors.
That’s probably a record number of felony convictions for Porter County, Chief Deputy Prosecutor Matthew Frost said.
It could also mean up to 250 years imprisonment for Ryan Roy Schroeder on just the five Class A felony charges of aiding in child molesting.
Especially with child pornography, it’s possible for a judge to make the sentences for each charge consecutive rather than concurrent, Deputy Prosecutor Cheryl Polarek said.
Schroeder, who turned 27 Wednesday, had a number of child porn images in his possession from the time he was in Porter County to when he got stationed in Florida in the Navy.
The images came from women he was involved with, one of whom is serving 25 years in a federal prison and another — Tara Tryon of Porter County — appears before Porter Superior Judge William Alexa Friday on 13 felony counts.
“It was just unprecedented that he was able to get these women to commit these crimes for him,” Polarek said after the trial.
During Thursday’s closings, she called Schroeder a narcissistic man who thought he was smarter than everybody else.
In October 2011, he had a girlfriend in LaPorte County anonymously turn over some of the child pornography to police, telling them that the woman sexually abusing a 2-year-old boy was the babysitter, Tryon, now 22.
Police searching Schroeder’s Navy barracks found a thumb drive with more child porn and with photos and video he had girlfriends take in locker rooms and bathrooms.
Defense attorney Matt Soliday argued that Schroeder turned in a molester and agreed to shed anonymity, talk with police and allow the barracks search.
“If he hadn’t turned her in, she wouldn’t have been charged with anything, and she would probably still be out there molesting,” Soliday said.
Polarek said he held the photos for about 18 months and turned only Tryon’s over to police a day after she broke up with him.
Porter Circuit Judge Mary Harper will give her decision on whether Schroeder will serve charges consecutively at a Jan. 22 sentencing.
He can also be sentenced two to eight years on each of nine Class C felonies and up to three years on each of nine Class D felonies.
If Harper makes the sentences concurrent, Schroeder could get a 20- to 50-year sentence.