HONESDALE— A couple found guilty of sexually abusing multiple children were sentenced in Wayne County Court Thursday morning.
Michael Schwartz, 34, was sentenced to 12.5 - 45 years in a state penitentiary by Judge Raymond Hamill.
His wife and co-defendant Jamie Schwartz, 29, was sentenced to 11-40 years of incarceration in a state penitentiary.
The court found both defendants to be sexually violent predators on evidence presented by expert witness Mary Muscari.
“It was certainly something which was abhorrent,” stated Hamill of the crimes as he sentenced Michael.
In sentencing Jamie, Hamill pondered how it were possible for the defendant, herself a mother, to perform these acts on another's children.
As a result of their conviction, both defendants were classified as Tier 3 sex offenders.
Both must register with the Pennsylvania State Police every month for the rest of their lives under the Adam Walsh Act.
“I think Justice was done,” stated First Assistant District Attorney Patrick Robinson after the sentencing.
“Mr. Schwartz wanted to have a 'circle of trust' and by doing so, he has pretty well ensured that the two children that were victims in this case will never trust anybody.”
Alluding to the defendants' lengthy sentences, Robinson stated “They've got decades to think about what they've done in this case.”
“In my opinion,” continued the First ADA, “Michael Schwartz is evil, and he is a person that even though he was the accomplice, was much more culpable in this case than his wife.”
On July 17, 2017 the court found them guilty of multiple offenses including rape of a child, statutory sexual assault against a victim under 11, indecent assault against a victim under 13, false imprisonment, corruption of minors and other related offenses.
These offenses occurred between 2011 and 2013.
Court papers state the victims were forced to strip naked and watch the Schwartzes engage in sex acts.
Michael Schwartz would forcefully take off the victims’ clothing if they did not comply.
The Schwartzes would also hold down the victims, perform sex acts on them, and make them watch pornographic movies.
“These acts occurred every weekend,” state police Trooper Sharon Palmer wrote.
Michael Schwartz told the victims to not say anything. “(He) called it ‘the circle of trust,’” the trooper wrote in court papers.