Alleged Freeland Instagram predator headed to trial

Published: Dec. 20, 2017 at 2:08 PM EST
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(12/20/17) - A 37-year-old man who tried to get a young girl to send him inappropriate pictures on social media will see his case move up to Saginaw County Circuit Court for trial.

Tittabawassee Township Police said Jason Schultz posed as a 12-year-old boy on Instagram.

In District Court we also learned the girl Schultz targeted was his fiance's daughter. They were living under the same roof when the two shared private messages on Instagram. She thought she was talking to a 12-year-old boy.

Police said Schultz used a few Instagram handles including, "TKnightFreeland" and "SaginawBaseball."

Schultz initiated the messages between himself and the 10-year-old girl, who is now 11-years-old.

"These should be all of them. All the communications," said Detective Brian Berg with Tittabawassee Township Police as he showed a roughly one-inch thick stack of papers to the courtroom.

The papers were screenshots of the Instagram conversations.

In court the girl, who were are not identifying, read some of messages written back and forth in the three-month long conversation.

The Instagram messages said things like, "what are you wearing underneath," "you're so sexy I want to see more" and "you're super pretty, you don't need to be shy."

The messages stopped when the girl's mother discovered the private conversation on her daughter's phone.

"She actually showed him the phone and someone is sending her messages, and showed it right to him," Berg said.

At some point Child Protective Services was alerted.

Schultz told CPS and police messaging his fiance's 10-year-old was a "test".

"He had done it because his ex-wife had found photos of their daughter," said Trachell Landin, a CPS worker who was assigned to investigate the claims made against Schultz.

"And so he was doing it test, see what's going on in his household and to see if (the girl) would send someone photos," Berg said.

In court the assistant proseuctor described Schultz as "grooming" the girl as the conversation progressively asked for more.

"Then he went on to further admit that he will state that some of the verbage was over the top, but that he was going to seek help for it," Landin said.

Schultz faces four felony counts for this case, but police are looking into whether there are more young girls Schultz targeted.

Schultz's charges include accosting a minor for immoral purposes, using a computer to commit a crime, and two new counts of sexually abusive material.

A trial date has not been set.

Schultz worked as a physician assistant and was attending medical school.