Md. Man Charged in Calif. Baby's Sex Abuse Case - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Md. Man Charged in Calif. Baby's Sex Abuse Case

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Stephen H. Schaffner Stephen H. Schaffner
BALTIMORE (WBOC/AP)- A Caroline County, Md. man has been charged in a case involving a California pediatric nurse accused of sexually abusing his 6-week-old foster child.

Federal prosecutors said 34-year-old Stephen H. Schaffner of Greensboro was indicted by a grand jury on 10 charges of sexually exploiting a child and conspiracy on Wednesday. No attorney was listed for Schaffner by Thursday.

The charges stem from a case involving 50-year-old Michael William Lutts, a San Diego County pediatric nurse given custody of a prematurely born foster baby on Aug. 4. Schaffner's indictment alleges that on the evening of Aug. 4, Lutts, in California, texted Schaffner, in Maryland, images of the infant. According to the indictment, over the next several hours, Schaffner exchanged numerous graphic and sexually explicit messages with Lutts about Lutts engaging in sexually explicit conduct with the infant.  Lutts allegedly sent Schaffner videos with the infant, including images of an adult performing oral sex on the infant, prosecutors said. They also said Schaffner is alleged to have directed Lutts to sexually abuse the infant in order to produce sexually explicit images and videos and send them to Shaffner.

A criminal complaint filed in California alleges that authorities obtained a federal search warrant in April 2014 for an email address of a person who was distributing child pornography, which led them to other suspects who were transmitting child pornography. On Aug. 26, authorities obtained a search warrant for Lutts's home and seized a cellphone that they say contained images and videos of Lutts allegedly sexually molesting the infant.

Schaffner was a licensed clinical professional counselor in Maryland until his license was suspended on June 14, according to prosecutors.

Prosecutors said Schaffner faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years in prison for the conspiracy and for each of nine counts of sexually exploiting a child, followed by up to lifetime supervised release. 

On Wednesday, Schaffner had his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Baltimore and was detained.
 
Anyone with additional information related to the investigation involving Schaffner is asked to contact the FBI at (410) 265-8080.
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