Orlando, Florida – U.S. District Judge Wendy W. Berger today sentenced Xzavier Scholtens (20, Palm Bay) to 10 years in federal prison for using the internet to transport and possess videos depicting the sexual abuse of young children. Scholtens was also ordered to serve a 25-year term of supervised release and register as a sex offender.
Scholtens had been found guilty after a jury trial on April 28, 2021.
According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, this case arose from an online undercover operation conducted by agents from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in McAllen, Texas. The undercover operation targeted individuals who were using a particular social media platform on the internet to trade and distribute child sex abuse images and videos.
On November 19, 2019, Scholtens directly messaged one of the undercover agents and offered to “trade.” The undercover agent responded that Scholtens should send something first, in order to receive something in return. A short time later, Scholtens sent a hyperlink that led to a cloud storage folder that contained 12 videos. Each of the videos depicted the sexual abuse of young children whose ages ranged from 1 to 15 years old.
This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in McAllen, Texas and Rockledge, Florida and the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Emily C. L. Chang.
This is another case brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.