While out on bail, Hilton Head man raped another 12-year-old girl he met online | #childpredator | #onlinepredator | #sextrafficing

Mikell Schultheis, 25, of Hilton Head pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. His convictions were for kidnapping and raping two girls: the first from Aiken, S.C. and the second from Arizona.

Circuit Court Judge Carmen T. Mullen’s sentence includes Schultheis being permanently prohibited from contacting three of his underage victims.

In the case of the second attack, one that happened while Schultheis was out of bond for the first offense, he drove nearly 60 hours to pick up the second victim.

After communicating via Facebook with the 12-year-old girl in mid-September, Schultheis picked up the first victim and her 10-year-old sister at their Aiken residence. He drove them to his apartment on Hilton Head’s Beach City Road. According to the Monday press release from the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, Schultheis had sex with the 12-year-old while the younger sibling was in the residence. Beaufort County deputies arrested Schultheis four days after the incident.

While out on a $15,000 bond from the first attack, Schultheis then kidnapped another 12-year-old girl from Arizona and drove her to his Hilton Head apartment — about 29 hours away — where he raped her. The missing girl was found in Schultheis’ apartment when local deputies, FBI agents and a SWAT team arrested him on March 30, 2022, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Arizona.

Because Schultheis crossed state lines to take the Arizona child to his apartment, he also faces a pair of pending federal charges related to the second offense, one of which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

At the time of his second arrest, Schultheis was wearing an ankle monitor as a condition of his bond for previous charges.

“Timothy Schultheis used social media to lure underage victims, whom he used for his sexual gratification,” said Julie Kate Keeney of the Solicitor’s Office, who prosecuted the case. “He is a predator, pure and simple, and his hunting grounds were not confined to Lowcountry or to the internet. Fortunately, he will be spending a lot of time behind bars.”

After searching Schultheis’ cellphone and other electronic devices following the 2020 incident, police also charged him with four other internet crimes, including three separate allegations of owning child sexual abuse material, also known as child pornography. Those four charges were dismissed in court on Monday, judicial records show.

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