Ben Berkstresser, the Webster County Prosecuting Lawyer, is dealing with backlash after decreasing the sentence of two Amish brothers who admitted to having intercourse with their youthful sister over considerations they might be “eaten alive” in jail.
Aaron, 22, and Petie, 18, Schwartz of Seymour, Missouri admitted earlier this month to police “that that they had engaged in intercourse with their youthful sister on a number of events” final and early this yr, in keeping with the Webster County Citizen. She had been 12 and 13 on the instances of the abuse.
Berkstresser decreased their preliminary costs of six counts of statutory rape and one rely of incest to third-degree baby molestation, a Class C felony, the outlet continued. The unique plea deal of 15 years in jail was additionally suspended over the prosecutor’s concern that they might not survive the state jail system, the Webster County Citizen continued.
“These two younger males would’ve been eaten alive,” Berkstresser expressed to the newspaper.
The Webster County Citizen disclosed that “the brothers acquired a 10-year sentence within the Missouri Division of Corrections (DOC) on the primary rely and a five-year DOC sentence on the second rely, with a suspended execution of sentence on each counts.”
Each brothers can be on probation for 5 years and should full the Missouri Intercourse Offender Therapy Program (MOSOP) by September eight of subsequent yr, the Webster County Citizen indicated.
Right here’s what that you must learn about Ben Berkstresser:
1. Berkstresser is Now Searching for to Revoke the Brothers’ Probation
On Thursday, Berkstresser sought to revoke the Schwartz brothers’ probation after he claimed they each violated their necessities “by having contact with the sufferer of the crime, after signing the intercourse offender supervision settlement that prohibited contact with the sufferer,” the Springfield Information-Chief reported.
The violation came about “with the sufferer at her residence,” the outlet added.
Neither Aaron nor Petie are at present in custody “as of proper now,” in keeping with the Springfield Information-Chief, citing a Webster County Sheriff’s Workplace consultant.
2. An On-line Petition Calling for Berkstresser’s Resignation Has Garnered Over 3,000 Signatures
Calling for the speedy resignation of prosecuting legal professional Ben Berkstresser. – Signal the Petition! https://t.co/Caaxa4nU2o through @Change
— Jacqui Fanatia (@JFanatia) September 22, 2020
A Change.org petition calling for the prosecutor’s speedy resignation was created by an individual named Sam Duffy and addressed to U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, in addition to others.
The petition, asking for five,000 signatures, claims Berkstresser’s resolution surrounding the Amish brothers was a “mockery of our judicial system, writing:
Final week the sufferer’s brothers plead responsible, AARON CM SCWARTZ, 22, and PETIE CM SCHWARTZ, 18, acquired probation and 100 hours of group service from head prosecutor Ben Berkstresser. Not solely is that this sentence a mockery of our judicial system and a slap within the face to the group, however the sufferer may also should dwell with disgrace, guilt, judgment by the church, melancholy, and a protracted checklist of unknown traumas.
To this point, the petition has amassed over 3,000 signatures.
3. Berkstresser Has Labored because the Webster County Prosecuting Lawyer for Virtually 6 Years
Berkstresser has labored in his function because the prosecuting legal professional for Webster County for nearly six years, starting in January 2015, in keeping with his LinkedIn.
He beforehand labored as a “Member/Lawyer” at Replogle and Berkstresser, LLC from November 2006 to December 2014, his web page continues, in addition to an legal professional at Hosmer King & Royce, LLC for 2 years and 10 months.
Berkstresser acquired his Juris Physician diploma from the College of Tulsa Faculty of Legislation in 2001 and a bachelor’s diploma from Missouri State College in 1998, his LinkedIn states.
4. Berkstresser was ‘Raised on a Household Dairy Farm’ in a ‘Christian House’
Berkstresser was “raised on a household dairy farm, in a Christian residence,” in keeping with his official prosecutor bio.
The web site describes him as “not your typical legal professional,” claiming he “understands the that means of labor ethic and conventional, American values.”
Berkstresser stresses that he desires criminals to “know they received’t get away with hurting others” and that county residents can depend on him to guard their rights, his biography continues.
5. Berkstresser has 2 Younger Boys With His Spouse of Over 13 Years
In keeping with his prosecuting legal professional bio, Berkstresser shares two younger boys, Henry, 6, and Sawyer, 3, together with his spouse Melissa of 14 years.
“Household issues,” he states on the web site.
He additionally asserts that they “personal” their residence, so he is aware of that “property rights matter.”
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