Local attorney receives 15-year prison sentence for tryst with underage boy

Jon Campisi Nov. 29, 2014, 6:00pm


A Philadelphia-area attorney who was convicted in federal court in October 2010 of traveling outside of the United States to engage in sex with a minor was sentenced on Dec. 1 to 15 years in prison.

Kenneth Schneider, 47, had been convicted of traveling to Moscow, Russia back in the summer of 1998 and engaging in a sexual relationship with a 12-year-old boy, according to a news release by Zane David Memeger, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

The press release states that Schneider, founder and president of the Apogee Foundation, described on its website as a “global philanthropic organization” dedicate to the arts, met the young man in Russia after he told two ballet instructors that he was willing to provide “assistance” to students attending the ballet academy, but ended up having a physical affair with the 12-year-old boy whose family could no longer afford to pay his board at the school.

Schneider convinced the young boy’s parents to allow their son to reside with Schneider in his apartment, which was only a few blocks away from the school, the release states.

The lawyer and the boy, identified in news reports as Roman Zavarov, maintained a sexual relationship between August 2000 and November 2001, the release states. Schneider had even brought the boy to Philadelphia in the summer of 2001 to participate in a program here. The two then returned to Moscow.

In addition to the 15-year federal prison term, U.S. District Court Judge Juan R. Sanchez ordered Schneider to pay $35,000 in restitution to the victim, a $20,000 fine and complete three years of supervised release after his prison term commences.

“The Department of Justice is committed to protecting children from sexual predators,” Memeger said in the news release. “When a criminal, such as this one, exploits a vulnerable and innocent child for his own gratification, we will take every step to remove the criminal from the community so that he cannot victimize other children and so that other potential criminals are put on notice that the justice system will not tolerate this type of behavior.”

Various law enforcement agencies were involved in the investigating of the case including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the ICE Attache-Moscow and Interpol.

John Kelleghan, special agent in charge of Department of Homeland Security investigations in Philadelphia, said the case “exposed the disturbing truth concerning those individuals who believe they can victimize children abroad and not be held accountable in America for their disturbing actions. HIS and our law enforcement partners, here and around the world, stand vigilant to protect the most vulnerable among us, our children.”

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