Women testify child porn defendant kept requesting disturbing photos

2012-12-19T18:00:00Z 2012-12-20T11:09:27Z Women testify child porn defendant kept requesting disturbing photosBob Kasarda bob.kasarda@nwi.com, (219) 548-4345 nwitimes.com
December 19, 2012 6:00 pm  • 

VALPARAISO | Center Township resident Ryan Schroeder told jurors late Wednesday he did not request sexual photos of children from women who have accused him of that offense.

The 27-year-old said he waited 18 months before reporting the images because he was so surprised, feared the impact on his naval career and did not know whom to contact.

"They shocked the crap out of me," Schroeder said, as the evidence portion of his trial came to a close.

Schroeder's testimony came just a short time after Valparaiso resident Tara Tryon, 22, sat in the same seat and said it was not long after she began spending time with Schroeder that he voiced sexual interest in children.

Tryon said that at Schroeder's request she began in April 2010 taking nude photographs of a 5-year-old Chesterton girl she was babysitting and sending them by phone to Schroeder. He denied ever receiving those photos.

Tryon said she did not touch the girl sexually but did comply with Schroeder's requests to molest the girl's 2-year-old brother and send the photos and videos to Schroeder. She said the images show her performing oral sex on the boy, putting her finger inside him, holding his mouth to her breast and his hand inside of her.

"He (Schroeder) wanted more," Tryon said. "He wanted the pictures because he thought it was hot I was doing it."

When asked why she went along with the requests, Tryon said she wanted to keep Schroeder in her life.

"I didn't like doing it," she said. "I thought I had to. At a point, I became numb."

Schroeder, who faces 23 felony counts, has argued Tryon testified against him to help her own criminal case. She said prosecutors agreed not to file additional charges in return for her statements.

Tryon, who is charged with six felony counts of child molestation and seven felony counts of child exploitation, further told jurors that she took a photo of her niece having her diaper changed, took photos of unsuspecting strangers in locker rooms and toilet stalls, and performed various sex acts, including threesomes, all at Schroeder's request.

Tryon, who said she now has a 7-week-old child, also accused Schroeder of suggesting she get pregnant by another man so he could have sex with the child.

She then read from a letter she said Schroeder sent her while he was in the Navy, which reads in part, "That would be hot as hell if you went all the way with our son. What do you think babe? What all do you want to happen with girls? I want 4 kids probably, would want boy first so I don't go to jail but it doesn't matter. What do you want them to do together?"

Schroeder testified he wrote those lines and others in an attempt to learn more about Tryon and her interest in children.

He denied ever receiving nude photos from another female friend, who testified against him Tuesday and is serving a 25-year federal term for producing those images. Schroeder also is accused of suggesting Tryon switched his external hard drive with another containing the pornographic images of children.

Earlier Wednesday, jurors heard from 19-year-old Valparaiso resident Ashley Ford, who began dating Schroeder in April 2010 when she was 16 and he was 24.

She said she took nude photos of her mother, herself and strangers in bathroom stalls and provided them to Schroeder at his request. She said she refused requests by Schroeder to attempt to fondle her mother for a photo.

"He would tell me I'm not good enough for him if I didn't do it," she said of the various requests.

Ford said prosecutors agreed not to charge her if she testified.

Ford's mother, Linda Ford, testified Schroeder seemed nice until Oct. 1, 2010, when he sent her text messages asking for nude photos and to have sex with her so he would know what it will be like having sex with her daughter later in life.

"I was just very disgusted," she said. "I couldn't believe it was him at that point."

Schroeder has denied making that request.

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