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Child porn charges for man who forced family member to get nude photos of friends

Thomas Schickel | Cook County sheriff's office

A southwest suburban man coerced a young family member into convincing her friends to share nude photos of themselves online, images which the girl then gave to him, according to prosecutors.

Bond was set at $1 million Thursday for Thomas Schickel, 36, of Oak Forest, who was charged with solicitation of child pornography, inducing another to provide a child for child pornography, and possession of child pornography, according to the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.

Sometime in September 2013, Schickel learned that a minor female relative “was part of an ongoing private text messaging group consisting of several minor females. In addition to discussing school and social matters, several of the group members shared nude photos of themselves within the private group,” a statement from prosecutors said.

And several times between 2013 and 2015, Schickel obtained images of the girls after he “repeatedly used threats and punishments to force his relative to solicit nude photos from members of the text group,” prosecutors said.

But in March 2015, “one of the girls confronted the relative after receiving one of the images, and the relative disclosed that Schickel had asked for naked pictures of her friends,” prosecutors said.

That girl then spoke to the dean of students at her high school, and the dean contacted Orland Park police. The state’s attorney’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and Oak Forest police also were involved in the investigation.

Earlier this week, a search warrant was executed at Schickel’s home and images of child pornography were found on his cellphone, prosecutors said. Police also seized two laptop computers, 12 cellphones, and three hard drives.

Schickel was arrested and appeared in bond court Thursday in Bridgeview, where Judge Peter Felice set the $1 million bond and scheduled arraignment or Oct. 16.