Philanthropist Accused in Sex Tourism Case

Man allegedly traveled to Russia to have sex with 12-year-old boy

An arts philanthropist traveled to Russia to have sex with a 12-year-old dancer and brought the boy back with him to the United States, federal authorities said.

Kenneth Schneider, founder of the New York-based Apogee Foundation, was arrested March 27 in Larnaca, Cyprus. He has been charged with traveling for the purpose of engaging in sex with a minor and transporting a person for criminal sexual conduct.

U.S. Attorney Michael Levy said Schneider had sex with the boy while helping out at the Moscow State Academy of Choreography in the summer of 1998.

They say Schneider won the boy's family's trust after he offered to let the boy stay with him at an off-campus apartment after the family was unable to pay board.

“The boy’s family had limited means and they viewed Mr. Schneider’s offer of aid as a philanthropic gesture," Levy said. "The defendant allegedly betrayed the trust of a young boy and of his family, by taking the opportunity to molest the boy.” 

Schneider and the boy allegedly traveled to Philadelphia in 2001 for a summer program.

Schneider "used his wealth and position as a supporter of the arts to victimize a young dancer," Levy said.

The 45-year-old Schneider is the president and chief executive officer of Aurience Ltd., a London-based mergers and acquisitions firm, and the founder of the Apogee Foundation, which says on its website that it aims to "discover and assist extremely gifted performing artists in all parts of the world."

Schneider's attorney, Joseph McHale, said his client will be back to defend himself against what he called "these false allegations."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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