CIRCLEVILLE - With a guilty plea Wednesday, an Illinois man admitted he drove to Circleville last October with the intent of having sex with a minor at a local motel.
Paul P. Schildhouse, 56, of Aurora, Illinois, pleaded guilty to one count of attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, a fourth-degree felony, in Pickaway County Common Pleas Court.
He faces a maximum of 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine for the crime and will be sentenced following a pre-sentence investigation by the court. Schildhouse also will be required to register as a sex offender and, if imprisoned, must serve five years of post-release control.
According to Judge P. Randall Knece, Schildhouse also faces the forfeiture of a 2008 Jaguar sedan, the car he drove from Illinois on Oct. 16, 2015, with the purpose of committing the crime.
Schildhouse was arrested upon his arrival at a Circleville motel following an investigation by the Internet Crimes Against Children task force. The investigation began one month earlier, according to Chief Shawn Baer, Circleville Police Department, after Schildhouse began exchanging sexually oriented emails on the Internet.
According to investigators, Schildhouse believed he was exchanging emails with a single mother who had agreed to meet and allow him to have sexual conduct with her child. Instead, he was actually making arrangements with an undercover ICAC investigator and was taken into custody upon arrival at the local motel.
Detective Phil Roar, Circleville Police Department, and Deputy Matthew Parish, Pickaway County Sheriff's Office, are members of the ICAC task force and were both actively involved in the investigation and arrest, along with the Pickaway County Prosecutor's Office and probation officers from Circleville Municipal Court.
ICAC is a unit of the Franklin County Sheriff's Office and includes investigators from the Pickaway County Sheriff's Office, Circleville Police, Columbus Police, the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies in central Ohio.
Schildhouse remains free on bond pending sentencing.