VALPARAISO | A victim's father lit into a man convicted of aiding in the sexual molestation of his 2-year-old child.
"I think that you're just dirt," he said.
The boy's mother said she suffered confusion, shock and panic upon learning what had happened to her son.
"My world was shattered," she said. "Shame on you Ryan Schroeder."
Schroeder, 27, of Center Township, was given 54 years behind bars for charges related to aiding in child molestation and exploitation — a sentence that may fulfill a request that Schroeder spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Porter County Deputy Prosecutor Cheryl Polarek said that due to the nature of the offenses, Schroeder will have to serve 85 percent or at least 45 years of the sentence rather than the typical 50 percent.
Porter Circuit Court Judge Mary Harper referred to the Schroeder as a sexual predator before sentencing him.
Schroeder showed no emotion to either being found guilty of all 23 counts or to Monday's sentencing. He maintained his innocence — saying he had nothing to do with the images — and said he intends to appeal.
He said he should have decided sooner to provide authorities with the images he had been given of a child being molested by a former girlfriend and hopes his conviction will not discourage others from coming forward.
Schroeder questioned why he was facing the fate he is while former girlfriend, Tara Tryon, who admitted to her crimes, has since had a baby of her own.
"It is what it is," he said.
Harper also voiced concern about Tryon now having her own child and wondered if child protection authorities are aware of the situation.
A jury found Schroeder guilty in December on five Class A felony counts of aiding child molestation, C felony aiding child molestation, seven C felony counts of aiding in child exploitation, D felony aiding in theft, seven D felony counts of possessing child pornography and two D felony counts of aiding in voyeurism.
The trial featured graphic testimony about Schroeder directing several women to take pornographic photos and videos of children, and of unsuspecting women in various states of undress and in toilet stalls. He also was accused of having the women steal underwear and carry out other various sexual activities.
The father of the then 2-year-old allegedly molested by Tryon in the family's Chesterton home at the direction of Schroeder said Schroeder will never be forgiven.
At the time of the incident involving Tryon, Schroeder was in the U.S. Navy.
Tryon, who faces numerous charges in the case, is scheduled to appear before Porter Superior Court Judge Bill Alexa on March 15.