Two adult Missouri brothers of an Amish community who admitted to having sex with their 13-year-old sister have received suspended sentences because the prosecutor feared they would “be eaten alive” behind bars.
Earlier this month, 22-year-old Aaron Schwartz and his 18-year-old sibling Petie Schwartz of Seymour, Mo., pled guilty to two counts of third-degree child molestation with a child under the age of 14. They had originally faced rape charges.
Both they and two younger brothers had sex with their sister — whose name has not been revealed — who was between 12 and 13 years of age at the time of the acts, reported the Webster County Citizen.
But the two oldest Schwartz siblings, who were hit with a 10-year prison sentence on one count and five years on a second count were spared jail time.
Instead, they must write an apology letter to their community, perform 100 hours of community service and cough up a combined $500 to the Law Enforcement Restitution Fund, according to the Citizen.
Initially, the brothers had been been charged with six felony counts of statutory rape and one felony count of incest, but Webster County Prosecuting Attorney Ben Berkstresser defended his decision to push for the lenient sentence.
“I made the decision not to send them to the (Department of Corrections), to suspend the sentences,” explained Berkstresser. “These two young men would have been eaten alive in the state prison system.”
Two more Schwartz brothers, both allegedly minors, also engaged in sexual acts with the sister, who recently gave birth to a baby.
“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.”
Berkstresser added that the community has punished all four Schwartz siblings but did not explain how.
The alleged crimes were unearthed in June when the girl, then 13 and pregnant, confided to a doctor that she had been engaging in sexual intercourse with her four brothers.
Aaron and Petie Schwartz told a sheriff that they each had sex with the sister at least six times, noted the Citizen.