A Tamaqua man, already facing sexual assault of two young girls in Schuylkill County, has been charged by federal authorities with possession and producing child pornography.

Federal officials arrested Robert L. Raeder Jr., 45, at the county prison where he is being held on the county charges, and charged him with producing pornographic videos and other images and maintained them on his computer.

Raeder was indicted by a federal grand jury, according to U.S. Attorney Peter J. Smith in a release Tuesday.

Smith said the state police Computer Crimes Unit and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations department handled the case.

Raeder faces up to 15 years in federal prison if convicted of the new charges.

He is being held in the county prison in lieu of $100,000 bail. He is facing 13 criminal counts. The counts include aggravated indecent assault, photographing or depicting on a computer a sex act involving a child, unlawful contact or communication with a minor, corruption of minors, indecent assault, rape, and indecent exposure.

Raeder was charged by state police at Frackville following an extensive investigation.

Troopers accused Raeder of raping a young girl and sexually abusing another, ages 4 and 5 at the time, in the summer of 2001.

The findings in a community cleanup in Walker Township in April 2012 led to an in-depth investigation by local and state police. Troopers said the assaults took place at multiple locations in the Tamaqua area. Police added that, on April 29, 2012, a community cleanup along Valley Road in Walker Township, uncovered 53 Polaroid photos depicting child nudity and sexual assault.

Trooper Edward Lizewski said the state police Computer Crimes Unit was contacted and Trooper Michael Gownley converted the images into digital format and submitted them to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Lizewski added that no information was obtained through that agency and a flier was later distributed to area pediatricians. That also didn't come back with any useful information.

Then, on Oct. 23, 2012, a Request for Identification was provided to local media outlets.

Only two days later, on Oct. 25, the biological parents of one of the girls in the photographs contacted police. After being interviewed separately, the family confirmed the child was their daughter. They added that their daughter was between 3 and 5 years old at the time of the photos. They were also able to identify objects in the background of the photos.

Continuing with the investigation, police learned that during the summer of 2001, the child's mother had a close relationship with Raeder. She added that Raeder would sometimes watch her daughter, along with his daughter, while she went to work. Police added that the mother was also able to identify a second girl in the pictures that was also known to Raeder.

Raeder was later interviewed by state police. Police said that when Raeder was told what the interview was about, he began to cry, saying, "OK, you got me. It was me. I took the photos. I'm sick and I never meant to hurt anyone."

Raeder also provided details to police officers pertaining to photographing the girls, the sexual acts committed and the disposal of the photographs.

U.S. Attorney Michelle Olshefski is prosecuting the federal case.