PHILADELPHIA—Kenneth Schneider, 46, of Philadelphia, was sentenced today to 15 years in prison for charges of traveling for the purpose of engaging in sex with a minor, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger. Schneider was convicted by a federal jury on October 1, 2010.
In the summer of 1998, Schneider, founder and president of the Apogee Foundation, traveled to Moscow, Russia, where he told two ballet instructors at the Moscow State Academy of Choreography that he was willing to provide “assistance” to students attending the academy. The instructors identified a 12-year-old student whose family could no longer afford to pay his board. Schneider convinced the boy’s parents to allow him to live with Schneider in an apartment a few blocks from the school. Between August 22, 2000 and November 22, 2001, Schneider engaged in a sexual relationship with the victim, bringing him to Philadelphia for a summer program in 2001, then returning to Moscow with the victim in August 2001 to continue the sexual relationship. Schneider was arrested March 27, 2010 in Larnaca, Cyprus.
In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge Juan R. Sanchez ordered Schneider to pay restitution to the victim in the amount of $35,000, pay a fine of $20,000 and complete three years of supervised release.
“The Department of Justice is committed to protecting children from sexual predators,” said Memeger. “When a criminal, such as this one, exploits a vulnerable and innocent child for his own gratification, we will take every step to remove the criminal from the community so that he cannot victimize other children and so that other potential criminals are put on notice that the justice system will not tolerate this type of behavior.”
“This investigation has exposed the disturbing truth concerning those individuals who believe they can victimize children abroad and not be held accountable in America for their very disturbing actions,” said John Kelleghan, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Philadelphia. “HSI and our law enforcement partners, here and around the world, stand vigilant to protect the most vulnerable among us, our children.”
The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the Investigative Committee of the General Procuracy of the Russian Federation, the ICE Attache-Moscow, Russia, and Interpol. Special thanks to the Investigative Committee of the General Procuracy of the Russian Federation, without whose assistance the investigation could not have been completed. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Michelle Morgan and Vineet Gauri.
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