Man Who Posed as Navy SEAL Convicted of Making Child Porn

Gregory John Schaffer (Photo: Guardians of Valor)
Military.com |

A New Jersey man who was outed in 2012 for posing as a Navy SEAL on dating sites has been convicted of producing and possessing child pornography, according to the U.S. Attorney's office in New Jersey.

Gregory John Schaffer, 38, was found guilty Oct. 20 on two counts of making child pornography and one count of possessing it after a three-day trial at the Newark federal court, according to a release.

Schaffer was charged in December 2012 with sexually assaulting two young girls between 2005 and 2010. His May 2013 indictment, reviewed by Military.com, shows he was also accused of coercing two child victims into sexually explicit behavior so that he could film it.

Evidence at trial shows that in 2010 he filmed the sexual abuse of a 12-year-old girl in a tow truck office in Union City, N.J., and, in a separate incident, filmed a 14-year-old girl in a hotel room, according to the release. Schaffer kept video recordings on his laptop and a backup storage drive, officials found.

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He also had in his possession other images of minors and sexually explicit videos.

Schaffer first received attention in the military veterans' community when retired SEAL Don Shipley called him out for stolen valor, posting a photo on his Facebook page of Schaffer sporting a Navy dress uniform with a SEAL trident in a profile photo for a dating site. Schaffer's user name was "usnavyseal1," and his profile also alleged he had a Ph.d.

According to Hudson County View, which covered the trial, Schaffer was found to have posed as a talent scout, swim instructor, and producer as well as a SEAL on various dating and social media sites.

Blogger Jonn Lilyea wrote about Schaffer's conviction Monday at the popular veterans' blog This Ain't Hell, which has followed the phony SEAL's plight since he was initially outed as a faker.

"He used his fake SEAL persona to lure the young girls into doing his bidding," Lilyea wrote. "It only took them four years from his indictment to his trial. The wheels of justice."

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office told Military.com Schaffer's sentencing is set for Feb. 7 at 11 a.m.

-- Hope Hodge Seck can be reached at hope.seck@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @HopeSeck.