Calls for Southwest Missouri prosecutor to resign after convicted child molesters sentenced to probation

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WEBSTER COUNTY, Mo. — Dozens of people in Webster County have taken to social media to share outrage over the sentencing of Aaron and Petie Schwartz after being convicted of child molestation. The brothers received five years of probation.

Now, Tiffany Hill and Mel Pleasant want Webster County Prosecutor Ben Berkstresser to resign or be removed from his position.

The two recently created an organization, called CAAP, or Child Advocacy Against Pedophilia, hoping to give a voice to victims of sexual abuse in the Amish community.

“The first is to spread awareness,” Pleasant said. “The second is to speak on the victims and what they have been through and what they continue to go through. And third is repercussions for the prosecuting attorney and the judge for light sentences.”

But the brothers, who admitted to raping their 12-year-old relative, may still end up behind bars.

Last week, Berkstresser filed a motion to have Aaron and Petie Schwartz’s probations revoked, claiming the brothers had contact with the victim after they were convicted — something that’s prohibited under their sex offender supervision agreement.

Hill and Pleasant say Berkstresser and Judge Michael O. Hendrickson are responsible by allowing them to return to their family home.

“Why would you send them back to the victim’s house in the first place,” Hill said. “That obviously gives them the opportunity to initiate contact.”

There’s still a lot of questions that need answering in this case, but court documents show Petie and Aaron Schwartz could serve up to 15 years in prison if their probation is revoked.

A hearing on the issue is scheduled for Oct. 6.

KOLR 10 reached out to Berkstresser and the Schwartz’s attorney, but have not received a response.

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