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Ex-patent office employee gets 10 years for enticing minor

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Local,Virginia,Crime,Naomi Jagoda

A former U.S. Patent and Trademark Office employee has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for enticing a teenage boy to engage in sexual activity, prosecutors said.

James Raymond Schimmel, 53, of Alexandria, had pleaded guilty in January in federal court in Alexandria.

In April 2012, Schimmel responded to a Craigslist advertisement posted by a 17-year-old boy who requested someone buy a sex toy for him. Even after learning that the purchase would be for a juvenile, Schimmel told the boy in an email that he would give the boy a sex toy for free if the teen would let Schimmel watch him use it, according to court documents.

Schimmel arranged for the boy to meet him at a hotel in Dumfries in May 2012. After their encounter at the hotel, law enforcement searched Schimmel's home and found a video camera in his office. The camera contained video of Schimmel performing oral sex on the boy, court papers stated.

When police interviewed Schimmel, he acknowledged that the videotape showed the sex act. The boy admitted that he met with Schimmel at the hotel but said he was unaware that the encounter was being videotaped, according to court documents.

The defense stressed in court documents that the juvenile was the one who posted the ad and that the teen willingly agreed to meet Schimmel and perform a sex act in front of him. But the prosecution noted that it was Schimmel who suggested to exchange the toy for a sex act, and then reserved the hotel room and recorded the encounter.

In a letter to the judge, Schimmel wrote that his actions were "born out of weakness and unresolved personel [sic] issues." The married father of two stated that he has no interest in repeating his bad behavior.

"My sincere hope is to turn my situation into something positive by helping others facing similar issues, and helping them to avoid the same mistakes I have made," Schimmel wrote.

njagoda@washingtonexaminer.com

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