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Incarcerated Somerset Man Faces Additional Sexual Abuse, Privacy Charges

schiff

Screen grab from the Pennsylvania registered sexual offender’s Web site, showing the entry for Kenneth Dale Schiff.

schiff


A Somerset man already serving a jail sentence for sexual abuse of children in Pennsylvania faces additional charges after police allegedly found in his home nearly 500 surreptitiously recorded video clips of children using a bathroom and shower at a rental cabin.

Kenneth Dale Schiff, 51, is currently in state prison in Camp Hill, Pa. on charges of sexual abuse of children and invasion of privacy, according to a press release from the Pennsylvania State Police.

The new charges come more than a year after authorities seized his laptop computer and a camera hidden in a smoke detector from his home.

Schiff was charged with sexual abuse of children and invasion of privacy, according to the press release.

Pennsylvania troopers out of the Swiftwater station began investigating Schiff on Jan. 10, 2014, after allegations were made that he was videotaping people – including children – without their knowledge in a rented cabin in Lake Harmony, Pa., according to the release.

One of the victims noticed a smoke detector hanging from the ceiling in the cabin’s bathroom, the release said. One victim later learned that Schiff had been arrested by state police for hanging hidden cameras disguised as smoke detectors in bathrooms and showers of several public campgrounds, according to the release.

The cabin was searched, but no smoke detector was found, the release said. Based on the prior allegations, Pennsylvania State Police asked the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office to secure a  search warrant for Schiff’s township home, according to the release.

Schiff’s home was searched on Jan. 16, 2014 by authorities, including township police, when the electronics were found.

The electronics were submitted to the Pennsylvania State Police Computer Crime Lab for analysis, according to the release.

Pennsylvania State Trooper Brian V. Noll of the Swiftwater Criminal Investigation Unit received a report on the analysis and a compact disc with video footage on Jan. 22, 2015. The report noted that nearly 500 video clips were present showing victims using the shower and bathroom and a bedroom in the rented cabin, according to the release.

Noll said the delay in getting the report was not unusual.

“Unfortunately with the backlog our computer analysts have, it is not unusual for forensic analysis of electronics to take that long,” Noll said in an email. “Our Northeast lab serves a large area and all items submitted to the computer lab are prioritized based on severity. Incidents such as homicides, aggravated assaults, sexual assaults etc. are pushed to the front and processed first.”

The incident from which the additional charges stemmed took place while Schiff was awaiting sentencing for the initial charges of invasion of privacy and sexual abuse of children according to the release.

Schiff is currently serving a minimum two-year sentence on those charges.

Anyone with information about these incident is asked to call Noll at (570) 839-7701.

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