VALPARAISO | Center Township resident Ryan Schroeder told investigators he waited two to three years before reporting that a former girlfriend sent him digital images of herself sexually abusing a 3-year-old Chesterton boy she was babysitting.
"I didn't know where to go for that," he said during a Nov. 8, 2011, interview with naval criminal investigators that was played for jurors Tuesday.
Schroeder, who is on trial this week on 23 counts stemming from the images in question, is now claiming he had nothing to do with the creation of the photographs. He appeared less certain during the 2011 interview.
When asked by naval investigator Tim Wood if he requested the photos from former girlfriend Tara Tryon, Schroeder paused before responding, "I'm trying to think if I actually did it or not."
Wood testified Tuesday he was concerned during the 2011 interview by Schroeder's response to having received the graphic images. Those images included Tryon performing oral sex on the 3-year-old boy, pretending the boy was breastfeeding from her and having the boy place his hand inside her.
"He believed they were interesting," Wood said, "not the response perhaps you or I would have."
Schroeder, 27, said during the 2011 interview that Tryon sent the photos unsolicited after asking him what he would like to do with their children if they had a family.
Tryon, 22, who is charged with six felony counts of child molestation and seven felony counts of child exploitation, is expected to testify this week along with other women claiming Schroeder asked them for various sexual photos, videos and other related favors.
Among those women is Adrienne Holley Harris, who told jurors late Tuesday she sent numerous nude photographs of a 1-year-old girl to Schroeder at his request.
Harris, who met Schroeder while they both were at boot camp in Illinois with the Navy, said she took three or four photos a day for a month or so.
"I lost count," said Harris, who is serving a 25-year federal prison sentence for the offense.
Harris said Schroeder asked her to touch the girl for the photos, but she refused.
She also said Schroeder told her he turned Tryon's photographs over to the police because he was angry she had sex with his military recruiter.
Schroeder argues the reason the women are now testifying against him is to help their own criminal cases.
Harris testified she agreed to cooperate with authorities in return for reducing her charges from six to one.