Two Amish brothers in Missouri pleaded guilty earlier this month to charges that they repeatedly had sexual relations with a younger sister, who gave birth to a child by one of them a few weeks earlier.
But on Thursday, a prosecutor filed a motion in a Webster County court to revoke probation for Aaron C.M. Schwartz, 22, and Petie C.M. Schwartz, 18, after they reportedly had contact with the victim, KY3 reports.
The brothers were sentenced to 15 years in prison, but their plea deal suspends the sentence, leaving them both out of jail, the Webster County Citizen reported. They will be registered sex offenders for life, however.
The crimes were uncovered when a doctor determined the 13-year-old sister was pregnant, and she told the doctor she had been having sex with her brothers. The doctor contacted the Webster County Sheriff’s Department, which launched an investigation.
“Aaron said he and (his sister) had engaged in sexual intercourse approximately six times over the course of the previous year,” Cpl Ryan Wells wrote in his report. “Aaron was asked for (his sister’s) birthday and provided it, showing he knew her age to be 12 to 13 years old at the time of the sexual intercourse.”
Petie told Wells that he had engaged in sexual intercourse with his sister a “half dozen” times, the corporal wrote, according to the Citizen.
Both men were initially charged in July with six felony counts of statutory rape and one count of incest each. They each pleaded guilty on September 8 to two counts of third-degree child molestation with a child under the age of 14.
The investigation also uncovered that two younger brothers, both minors, had also had sexual relations with the girl. No information was provided about them.
The plea deal calls for the brothers to receive 10-year sentences on the first count of child molestation and five years on the second. The sentences have been suspended pending their completion of the Missouri Sex Offender Treatment Program by September 8, 2021, completion of 100 hours of community service, and completion of letters to the prosecutor detailing how they will protect their own future children from child abuse. Both will be on probation for five years.
“They will go to prison if the Missouri Sex Offender Treatment Program isn’t completed in a year,” Webster County Prosecuting Attorney Ben Berkstresser told the Citizen. “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. And that consequence will be prison.”
Berkstresser said the case was a difficult one to prosecute and that he made the decision to suspend the sentences.
“All of them had sexual relations with their sister,” he said. “There is no question this occurred.”
But, the brothers “are very immature relative to their respective ages.” “These two young men would’ve been eaten alive in the state prison system,” he said.
The Amish community in the area, he said, “was cooperative yet upset.”
“They made it clear to me that they had punished all four of the boys for their actions, and they made it clear that this punishment was very severe,” he said.
Berkstresser also noted that he has been “very harsh” with Amish suspects charged with similar crimes.
“We had a previous case where a father committed sexual acts with his daughter, and he went to prison,” he said.
The sister’s baby was born shortly before the plea deal was announced. Authorities provided no further information.
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[Featured image: Aaron Schwartz and Petie Schwartz/Missouri Sex Offender Registry]