Billy Joe Schrader
Julia Thiemann and Billy Schrader, both accused of child sexual assaults, appeared Monday before Lincoln County District Judge Richard Birch.
Thiemann is charged with four felonies -- sexual assault of a child, possession of child pornography, cruelty to a child and child enticement.
She asked for a plea in abatement hearing, which if successful would quash the charges against her.
Defense attorney Stephen Potter presented documents for consideration of dismissal of all four charges.
Potter said he had been informed that there was going to be a federal indictment on these charges, but he asked Birch to examine the documents he had presented as exhibit 1.
“If you take a look at that record, and read through it, I think that you will see that there is really no evidence to support that my client was part of any of the charges,” he said. “I would ask the court to take a look at it and ask that you dismiss the case.”
Birch turned to the prosecution and asked if there were any objections.
Lincoln County Attorney Rebecca Harling said she handled the case during the preliminary hearing in Lincoln County Court, when the evidence was ruled sufficient to bind the case over to district court.
Harling said the charges are based on evidence from four photos, and there are a total of nearly 7,500 photos.
Harling said she expects a federal indictment to be handed down against Thiemann, and suggested the court postpone a decision until that happens.
Birch asked if she anticipated the indictments by the end of the week.
Harling said she did.
Birch said he would take the plea under advisement but said he probably would get to reading it until next week anyway because of his heavy caseload.
Birch set May 12 for a hearing to discuss the case in open session.
A few minutes later, co-defendant Billy Schrader appeared, represented by defense attorney Kent Florom. Harling said she expects both Schrader and Theimann to be heading to Omaha soon to face federal charges, in the custody of U.S. marshals.
Schrader, 31, reportedly had sex with a 7-year-old girl and had photographs of child pornography on his computer devices. Thiemann, 32, allegedly participated, photographed that act and others, and committed other acts as well, prosecutors say.
They were arrested in mid-December and have been in the Lincoln County jail since then.
If convicted, the crimes could put them away for their lifetimes.
In late-February, Florom told the court that he needs to see the electronic devices that were allegedly used to photograph and film the porn, but if he looks at it, he is technically guilty of participating.