Aaron and Petie Schwartz, of Missouri, are two Amish brothers who avoided jail time after admitting to sexually assaulting their 12-year-old sister because the county prosecutor feared they would “be eaten alive,” according to local media.
The brothers, who live in Seymour, pleaded guilty in September to two counts of third-degree child molestation with a child under the age of 14, a Class C felony, according to the Webster County Citizen. The charges stem from 2019 and 2020, when 22-year-old Aaron and 18-year-old Petie, as well as their two younger brothers, engaged in sexual acts with their sister, who was 12 and 13 at the times, the outlet continued, citing police.
A doctor first alerted authorities upon discovering that the sister was pregnant just after her 13th birthday, to which she explained that four of her brothers had been having sex with her, the Webster County Citizen said.
She gave birth in early September, the outlet added.
Although Aaron and Petie admitted to police “that they had engaged in sex with their younger sister on several occasions, described by Aaron C.M. Schwartz as ‘six times’ and by Petie C.M. Schwartz as ‘a half dozen’ times,” the Webster County Citizen reported, their initial charges of six counts of statutory rape and one count of incest were reduced to third-degree child molestation.
Their initial plea deal of 15 years in prison was also suspended over prosecution’s fear that they would not survive the state prison system, the newspaper continued.
“These two young men would’ve been eaten alive,” Webster County Prosecuting Attorney Ben Berkstresser expressed to the Webster County Citizen.
He also claimed that brothers were “very immature,” making the nature of their crime “different” than if a “parent in a position of authority sexually abused or exploited their child,” according to the outlet.
The Webster County Citizen disclosed that “the brothers received a 10-year sentence in the Missouri Department of Corrections (DOC) on the first count and a five-year DOC sentence on the second count, with a suspended execution of sentence on both counts.”
Here’s what you need to know:
The 2 Brothers Will Be on Probation for 5 Years
For punishment, both brothers will be on probation for five years and must complete the Missouri Sex Offender Treatment Program (MOSOP) by September 8 of next year, the Webster County Citizen indicated.
Aaron and Petie are also required to complete 100 hours of community service on top of writing individual apologies to Seymour’s Amish community within 30 days, the newspaper continued.
The plea agreement mandates that they each pay a fine of $250 to the Law Enforcement Restitution Fund (LERF), which will be funneled toward supporting the sheriff’s department and the prosecutor’s office, the Webster County Citizen said.
The Prosecutor Acknowledged That His Decision Would Likely Receive Pushback
According to the Webster County Citizen, Berkstresser acknowledged to the outlet that his decision would likely receive public pushback. He also expressed that he had “previously” been “very harsh on the Amish when they’ve been charged with crimes of this nature.”
“This won’t be easy for either of them to do, but I’ll assure you they will face the consequences if the program isn’t completed,” the prosecutor said to the newspaper. “And that consequence will be prison.”
Meanwhile, the Amish community “had punished all four of the boys” and “made it clear that this punishment was very severe,” Berkstresser added to the Webster County Citizen.