Two Amish brothers, who raped their own sister was spared jail sentence despite being found guilty.
According to Metro, 22-year-old Aaron Schwartz and his 18-year-old brother Petie Schwartz from the Amish community in the Seymour area of Webster County, Missouri, sexually abused their sister along with their two younger brothers. The victim, now 13 years old, was impregnanted by them and gave birth to her baby earlier this month.
The incident came to light after the teenager consulted a doctor. The doctor then notified the police about the horrifying crime. In the investigations that followed, the girl told investigators that she was sexually abused by all four of her brothers. The juvenile brothers were not charged considering their age.
Meanwhile, the two elder brothers were initially charged with two counts of third-degree child molestation of a child under the age of 14.
They were handed 10 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections (DOC) on the first count and a five-year DOC sentence on the second count. However, the sentence has been suspended considering the age of the perpetrators after a plea deal.
“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. 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,” prosecutor Ben Berkstresser, according to Webster County Citizen.
He added, “These two young men would’ve been eaten alive in the state prison system. Previously, I’ve been very harsh on the Amish when they’ve been charged with crimes of this nature. 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,” according to Metro.
Their 10 years has been replaced by a five-year probation period. The accused were also asked to complete the Missouri Sex Offender Treatment Program. Additionally, they have to do100 hours of community service and write an apology letter to the Amish community in the Seymour area. The accused will also be registered sex offenders for life.
“Both young men must write a letter to me, explaining how they are going to protect their children from this happening to them. They have 30 days to get this letter to me. They will go to prison if the Missouri Sex Offender Treatment Program isn’t completed in a year. 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,” stated Berkstresser.
The prosecutor further told the media that the Amish community has stated that they have inflicted “very severe” punishments on the accused. However, the punishments are unknown.
“One of the brothers is the father of this child. 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. The Amish community 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,” said Berkstresser, according to Webster County Citizen.
Meanwhile, despite the outrage, the prosecutor stated that he would stand by his decision.