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12-years for child molesting

Friday, August 04, 2017 16:14 PM
Written by Stan Maddux
Category: Local News

A LaPorte man was given a maximum 12-year prison sentence Friday for sexually fondling a girl.
Erik Schmaltz, 43, must also be on the sex offender registry for life under terms of a guilty plea convicting him of level 4 felony child molesting.
According to court documents, Schmaltz in January inappropriately touched a 10-year old girl who told her mother.
The woman confronted Schmaltz and when asked why he stated ''I don't know,'' according to court documents.
Schmaltz later reported having ''suicidal thoughts'' out of fear of going to prison and feeling so alone from ''everyone turning against him,'' court records disclosed.
He could have received as lttile as two-years but agreed to the maximum sentence in exchange for a level 1 felony child molesting charge being dismissed.
That offense could have brought him as much as 40-years.
A standard court ordered psychological review of the defendant prior to sentencing rated Schmaltz as having a good chance of having a successful rehabilitation.
''I believe he can turn this thing around. We would never want to have another victim at the hands of Mr. Schmaltz again,'' LaPorte County deputy prosector Catherine Breitweiser-Hurst told the court.
''Thankfully, this is a first time offense,'' she said.
Schmaltz was ordered into sex offender counseling while incarcerated and given 177 days credit toward his sentence for time spent in the LaPorte County Jial awaiting the outcome of the case.