Updated August 17th, 2021
A Piqua man who said he turned to child pornography to deal with stress was sentenced Monday in a Miami County court to five years in prison.
Joshua L. Schwarz, 33, pleaded guilty in the spring to 10 counts of pandering obscenity involving a minor as part of a plea deal in Miami County Common Pleas Court. He initially was charged by Piqua police with 15 counts of the offense following an investigation of his possession in January of obscene material with minors. Five of the charges were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.
Schwarz was charged with the offenses six months after he was released from post release control supervision following a 2017 conviction for similar offenses and a 17-month prison sentence.
“This is some of the most offensive videos someone could possess,” Paul Watkins, first assistant county prosecutor, told Judge Jeannine Pratt. Schwarz not only watched the videos but shared them with others on the dark web, Watkins said.
“The defendant is a sick predator. He needs locked up,” he said, calling the actions reprehensible and asking for a lengthy sentence.
Defense lawyer Joe Fulker said Schwarz was exposed to child pornography as a child and became addicted to it. Schwarz sought treatment from various sources but fell back into viewing the pornography when he “felt stress in his life,” Fulker said.
Schwarz said he was sorry for people around him and for the children, saying he realized those children were taken advantage of in the making of the videos.
Pratt noted the minors in the videos were “very young … pre-school age to early teens.”
“The fact we are back here in such a short amount of time … is ridiculous and nonsensical,” she said. Schwarz talked about obtaining treatment but was not addressing his addiction, the judge said.
Schwarz was sentenced to five years in prison on each of the 10 charges. He was ordered to serve the sentences concurrently. He was given credit for 151 days served in the county jail.
He was elevated to a Tier III sex offender because of his prior conviction for sex offenses. The Tier III designation will require him to report his address to the sheriff’s office in the county where he resides for the rest of his life.