A DeSoto County child exploitation case earlier this summer is one of four conviction cases from across Mississippi announced by state Attorney General Lynn Fitch Friday.
The case dates back to the end of June, when Caleb Schooley of Memphis pled guilty and was sentenced by Circuit Judge Celeste Embrey Wilson on one count of child exploitation (enticing a child to meet for sexually explicit purposes). Schooley was sentenced to a term of 40 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections with 15 years to serve, five years supervised probation, and 20 years of non-reporting probation. He will serve day-for-day without possibility of parole and will have to register as a sex offender.
Schooley’s arrest was in April 2021 and was a result of Operation Blue Rain, a multi-jurisdictional operation coordinated by the Attorney General’s Office Cyber Crime Division. The Hernando Police Department, Panola County Sheriff’s Office, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Tishomingo County Sheriff’s Office, Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security participated in that operation.
The three other cases Fitch highlighted in Friday’s news release involved defendants from Bay St. Louis, Stonewall, and Covington County, Mississippi.
“The physical, mental, and emotional injuries caused by child exploitation will be felt by the victims for a lifetime,” said Fitch. “My office is committed to investigating and prosecuting these cases, and we are grateful to have such strong partners in law enforcement agencies across the State. But our best partners in this fight are concerned citizens who report suspected abuse. Your tip can save a child’s life.”
Fitch said if you have information about a child being sexually exploited online, please report it to 1-800-843-5678. The hotline is manned 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and tips are reported to the Attorney General’s Office. You can also make a report online at www.cybertipline.org.