Juneau sex offender sentenced to life in prison
A 52-year-old Juneau man was sentenced Monday to life in prison for producing child pornography, according to a release from the United States District Attorney’s Office.
Thomas Schopp gave gifts, including a cell phone, to a minor over the course of several months. In February 2014, he invited to the minor to his home, where he videotaped the minor engaging in sexual activity, the release stated.
Eventually, Schopp traveled to Reno, Nevada with the minor and was arrested. While detained, he made efforts to find people to destroy his cell phone and computer, which contained the child pornographic images, the U.S. attorney’s office said.
Schopp, who once went by the name Thomas Hiser, has previous child molestation convictions from more than 20 years ago. In 1988, he was convicted of six counts of sexual assault in the first-degree and sentenced to five years in prison. In 1993, he was convicted of first- and second-degree sexual abuse of a minor, as well as third-degree attempted sexual abuse, for which he was convicted to 26 years in prison. According to the release, he molested at least nine children.
At Schopp’s Monday sentencing, U.S. District Judge Timothy Burgess noted Schopp’s history.
“You go to jail for 26 years, and you get out, and here we are again,” Burgess said. “I don’t think there is anything I can do to deter you. Nothing.”
Burgess added that the only way he could protect the public was to sentence Schopp to life in prison.