Brushstrokes co-owner busted for child porn

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A co-owner of Atlanta gay retailer Brushstrokes was sentenced to more than eight years in federal prison and fined $75,000 for receiving thousands of images and videos of child porn, some that depicted minors being raped.

Thomas Joseph Schloeder (photo right), who has co-owned Brushstrokes with partner Mark Jackson for nearly 25 years, was sentenced Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Orinda D. Evans to 8 years, 1 month in prison and a lifetime of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay a $75,000 fine and will have to register as a sex offender when he is released from prison.

“Collecting images and videos showing the sexual abuse of children is a despicable act,” U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in a prepared statement. “Our continued work to prosecute and punish individuals who possess, receive and distribute child pornography should serve notice to those who may consider engaging in this behavior that it will not be tolerated.”

Schloeder, 47, was arrested in November 2012 after DeKalb County police investigators determined that a computer in Schloeder's Brookhaven home was using peer-to-peer technology to download child porn and had made more than 100 images of child porn available to others over several months, according to a press release from Yates.

On Nov. 15, police executed a search warrant at the house and seized several computers and electronic storage devices. A forensic examination of that equipment revealed thousands of images and videos of child porn. Some of it contained depictions of minors being raped by adults and sex acts between minors and adults, the U.S. attorney said.

“There are few crimes more heinous than the sexual abuse of a child,” said Brock D. Nicholson, special agent in charge of the Atlanta office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. “Protecting our children from those who exploit them is a top priority for HSI. We will continue to work closely with our partners at the DeKalb County Police Department to investigate these crimes and bring child predators to justice.”

Schloeder, who has continued working at the store and its sibling sex shop Pleasures since his arrest, was on hand in June when Pleasures celebrated its expansion and remodeling.

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