BOSTON — A Fall River man has been sentenced to serve four years in prison for attempting to have sex with a young teenage girl.

On Wednesday, 35-year-old Charles Eugene Schnitzlein III was sentenced to the prison term as well as five years of probation upon his release, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

He had pleaded guilty to federal child exploitation charges in October 2021 after traveling to New Hampshire in an attempt to have sex with a 13-year-old girl, according to the office.

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Schnitzlein admitted to traveling with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a person under 18 after he was caught trying to meet up with an undercover agent whom he believed to be a 13-year-old girl.

He used a messaging app to communicate with the "girl," sending a photo of his penis and asking for sexually explicit photos of the purported 13-year-old in return.

According to federal prosecutors, Schnitzlein also asked the fake teen where she lived and came up with a plan to meet for sex.

In April 2021, Schnitzlein drove from Fall River to a Nashua, N.H. mall to meet with the undercover officer posing as the girl.

Prosecutors said he stopped to buy condoms, flowers, soda and candy on the way.

Schnitzlein was arrested when he arrived.

He later admitted to authorities that he booked a hotel room in Nashua to have sex with the purported 13-year-old girl.

Schnitzlein also admitted to going to stores to look for young girls, touch or grab them in passing, and try to lure them to the bathroom for sex.

Two other sexual conversations with purported minors were also found on his phone — including a discussion with one minor about meeting at a mall for sex.

"The sexualization and exploitation of our children is a real and present danger," said U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins. "As the guardian of my 13-year-old niece, this case hits close to home for me. Children deserve to be children."

"This 35-year old man was attempting to have sex with an 8th grader. A juvenile," she added. "We will be relentless in hunting down those who seek to exploit and sexualize our children. Child predators be warned."

"Charles Schnitzlein clearly knew that preying on underage girls was wrong, but he did it anyway," said FBI Boston head Joseph Bonavolonta.

"He made extensive plans to travel to New Hampshire to have sex with what he believed to be a 13-year-old girl, and when we caught him, he confessed to a history of similar, failed attempts."

"Had we not put a stop to his atrocious behavior, his conduct likely would have continued," Bonavolonta added. "Today’s sentence ensures that he won’t be able to victimize any child for quite some time."

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