SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A former Sioux Falls Police officer, Luke John Schauer, has been arrested by federal authorities on charges of attempted production of child pornography and transfer of obscene materials to minors, according to unsealed documents.
The documents charge that between the dates of Jan. 18 and Feb. 4, 2022, Schauer attempted to persuade an undercover officer posing as a 12-year-old girl to engage in the production of child pornography. Schauer also used a cell phone to transfer and attempt to transfer obscene materials to an individual under the age of 16-years-old.
Schauer was booked into the Minnehaha County Jail Tuesday night and arraigned in federal court Wednesday, pleading not guilty.
According to the affidavit filed in the case, Schauer sent multiple explicit messages and images to the undercover officer, including images of his genitals.
In 2019, Schauer was presented with a ‘Lifesaving Award’ according to the Sioux Falls Police Department 2019 Annual Report.
KELOLAND News reached out to Sioux Falls Police to ask if Schauer, listed by the City of Sioux Falls as a Police Officer, was still employed. We were referred to the City for comment.
The following response was issued by the City of Sioux Falls.
Upon learning of the allegations surrounding Officer Schauer’s arrest, he did not work another shift for the Sioux Falls Police Department and is no longer a member of our Police department. In order to protect the integrity of the ongoing criminal proceedings and the rights of all involved, no further details will be provided at this time.Mayor Paul TenHaken
Federal law enforcement officials say the Sioux Falls Police Department was fully cooperative with the investigation into Schauer.
KELOLAND News spoke with Schauer in July of 2016, in his first year as a Sioux Falls Police Officer, about the challenges the department faced with recruiting officers.
“I like to help people at their worst and their best,” Schauer said in the interview.
He also stated in the interview that he hadn’t always wanted to be a police officer, but that it was the right decision for him, noting that he enjoyed being part of a brotherhood of officers.
“We’re all in the same game together. Whether you’re in one department or another, you’re still all part of the same goal. That’s to serve and protect the public,” he said at the time.
If convicted of both counts in federal court, Schauer faces a maximum of 40 years in prison, with a minimum of 15, and up to $500,000 in fines.
This story will be update as more information becomes available.