Visalia couple sentenced for making child porn

FRESNO, Calif.

A chance discovery led investigators to the suspects last September -- five years after the crime. Now, Terry Lee and /*Nicole Schneider*/ are both headed to prison.

One of Terry Lee Schneider's closest friends for 16 years turned him in after the pornographic video turned up in a house where the Schneiders used to stay. That man says he now lives with a fear that's affecting most everyone who knew the Schneiders.

Family photos portray Terry Lee and Nicole Schneider as the loving, church-going couple who friends admired for donating time to help the homeless. But in September 2010, longtime friends Brian and Keala Barkhurst found evidence telling a different story -- a pornographic video the Schneiders made including a 3-year-old child they were babysitting.

"It's a gut feeling seeing your friend for so many years doing this and not knowing it happened under your nose," said Brian Barkhurst.

Federal prosecutors say the tape was made five years earlier in 2005. The discovery planted doubt for the Barkhursts, about their own children's contact with the Schneiders. It's a fear they share with many members of the Visalia Nazarene Church where the Schneiders met the victim's family.

"The unanswerable questions that our family's had to go through will probably always be an issue, but at least we know they're going to be locked up," said Keala Barkhurst.

The Schneiders both pleaded guilty to producing child pornography. At their sentencing Monday, Terry Lee Schneider said almost nothing and the judge noted that he had an attitude. Nicole Schneider apologized and asked for forgiveness. As a Christian, the victim's grandfather is willing to forgive them both. But even knowing the Schneiders are going to prison hasn't healed the wounds for the victim's mother.

"For me personally, there's closure," said Loyd Smith, the victim's grandfather. "For a lot of, for my daughter, there's not closure. She has issues and I don't blame her at all."

On these federal charges, /*Terry Lee Schneider*/ will serve a 21-year prison sentence. Nicole Schneider will serve 15 years. They both could still face additional criminal charges in Tulare County.

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