Two brothers who raped their 12-year-old sister have avoided jail time and were allowed to walk free after the judge said the two men “would’ve been eaten alive in the state prison system.”
Amish brothers Aaron Schwartz, 22, and 18-year-old Petie Schwartz of Seymour, Missouri, pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree child molestation with a child under the age of 14.
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The pair and two of their younger brothers, both minors at the time, had had sexual relations with their younger sister last year. The young girl was 12 and 13 years old at the time of the sexual acts, the Webster County Citizen reports.
DailyMail reports: The brothers had received a 10-year sentence in the Missouri Department of Corrections (DOC) on the first count and five years for the second count.
But their plea deal – made in agreement with Webster County Prosecuting Attorney Ben Berkstresser – allowed the suspension of the sentences. The deal would allow the pair to be on probation for five years and avoid jail time if they also complete the Missouri Sex Offender Treatment Program (MOSOP) by September 8, 2021.
The brothers must also complete 100 hours of community service and write a letter an apology letter to Seymour’s Amish community within 30 days.
They must also pay $250 to the Law Enforcement Restitution Fund (LERF), per the plea agreement, which provides funding to improve the operation of the sheriff’s department and the prosecutor’s office.
Berkstresser said that he was aware that the brothers’ punishment would seem lax given their initial charge of six felony counts of statutory rape and one felony count of incest.
‘It needs to be noted that in this case, there were four brothers, two of them minors, while the other two legally are adults,’ Berkstresser said.
‘All of them had sexual relations with their sister. There is no question this occurred.’
The prosecutor added that the brothers, along with members of the Amish community, rejected legal counsel but Berkstresser’s office helped assign them counsel.
‘In the end, this wasn’t a case of a parent and child, where a parent in a position of authority sexually abused or exploited their child,’ he said. ‘This was a situation where four siblings engaged in acts with their sister. I offered a 15-year prison sentence based on this … it was a different relationship.
‘And I made the decision not to send them to the DOC, to suspend the sentences.
‘These two young men would’ve been eaten alive in the state prison system.’
Both brothers will be registered sex offenders for life.
‘Previously, I’ve been very harsh on the Amish when they’ve been charged with crimes of this nature,’ he said.
‘We had a previous case where a father committed sexual acts with his daughter, and he went to prison.
‘In this instance, these two boys are very immature relative to their respective ages. Maturity wise, they are much younger than their age.’
The now 13-year-old victim had a baby two weeks ago. Prosecutors shared that one of the brothers is the father of the child.
‘One of the brothers is the father of this child,’ said Berkstresser. ‘But within the Amish community that primarily lives in the Seymour area, (the Amish) don’t see the authority we have to do anything to them. This was a tough case to prosecute.’
Both adult brothers told authorities that they had had sex with their sister on six occasions.
The relations were unearthed in June when the pregnant teen told doctors that she had been having sexual relations with her brothers.