North Olmsted police warn parents after Iowa man targets 8-year-old, gets 60 years in prison

*NOTE: This is a stock photo.
*NOTE: This is a stock photo.(Pixabay)
Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 6:04 PM EDT
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NORTH OLMSTED, Ohio (WOIO) - North Olmsted police are warning parents of the dangers of social media after an 8-year-old was targeted in their city, leading to a 60-year sentence for an Iowa man.

According to police, in June of 2021, a concerned mother reported finding messages from a 30-year-old man on the Snapchat, MeetMe and TikTok of her 8-year-old daughter.

North Olmsted PD said one of their Detectives, Jeff Richards, investigated and found the man lived in Iowa, forwarding his report to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Cyber Crime Bureau.

Their investigation revealed that the man, Jonathan Francis Speidel, 31, of West Des Moines, used social media platforms for the last 12 years to communicate with young girls.

During the messages, Speidel asked numerous children for explicit photos or videos of themselves.

He lied to the girls about his name, employment, and age, and paid children for sexually explicit content, claiming to be looking for models.

Speidel also send the children videos and pictures of himself masterbating, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The victims ranged in age from 8 to 17 years old, and were from across the U.S., including several in or near Des Moines.

Speidel collected and exchanged child pornography over the internet, according to the DOJ, including over 800 pictures and 200 videos.

The DOJ said he also traveled to other states with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with these children, engaging in a sexual relationship with a child between the ages of 14 and 15 from October 2018 to August 2019 while living in Oregon.

Speidel was charged with several counts of sexual abuse in Oregon, which are still pending.

After being charged, the DOJ said he returned to Des Moines, only to return to Oregon in September of 2020, where he picked the child up, and driving her to Washington.

The girl was now 16, the legal age of consent in Washington. While there, Speidel engaged in sexual conduct with the child and made child pornography.

Speidel was sentenced to 60 years in prison on Tuesday, following which he will be on supervised release and required to register as a sex offender.

United States Attorney Richard D. Westphal of the Southern District of Iowa said “Speidel is a dangerous child predator, pure and simple. Today’s sentence provides some degree of justice for Speidel’s actions to the victims, who in the face of indescribable trauma, have courageously contributed to help prevent Speidel from harming any other minors. For over a decade, he targeted, manipulated and enticed minors, exchanging thousands of electronic messages, with the goal to produce child pornography and engage in illegal sex acts. Our thanks to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI)’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force and their continued dedication to protecting children and bringing individuals like Speidel to justice.”