Judge sentences St. George man for ‘despicable’ sexual abuse of children

5th District Courthouse, St. George, Utah, date not specified | File photo, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A 40-year-old St. George man who turned himself in to police last October was sentenced Tuesday to six years in prison for performing sex acts on multiple children over the past several years.

Aaron Carthal Schafer appeared before 5th District Judge Eric Ludlow to be sentenced for three counts of aggravated sex abuse of a child.

Schafer was sentenced to no less than six years in prison with credit for 243 days already served.

“What you did … the acts you committed, are despicable and deviant,” Ludlow said. “However, I do commend you for your integrity in coming forward.”

Schafer was originally charged with three felony counts of aggravated sex abuse of a child under 14 years of age, each punishable by 15 years to life in prison, and one felony count of sodomy on a child.

He pleaded guilty to all three counts of aggravated sex abuse on April 9, and the count of sodomy on a child was dropped.

Aaron Schafer booking photo, Washington County, Utah, Oct. 19, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Schafer was arrested Oct. 19, 2018, after turning himself in to police to “come clean” about several sexual offenses he committed against children over the course of nine years, according to court records.

Schafer admitted to an incident involving a 1-year-old girl while in the shower with her about nine years ago. He told police the incident lasted only a few moments before he realized that he was “making a mistake” and stopped.

He also said he performed a similar act on a 3-year-old girl two years ago. Within a few weeks of that incident, he performed a sex act on a 1-year-old boy.

After Schafer admitted to the acts, he was booked into the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility and held on a $100,000 bail.

Schafer’s attorney, Ryan Stout, submitted certificates of completion for programs his client took while in jail as well as letters from his family vouching for his character.

In letters he wrote to the judge prior to his sentencing, Schafer said he had turned himself in in order to receive help for what believes was a “mental illness.”

He will be attending court-ordered sex offender treatment while serving his sentence.

Email: mshoup@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews | @MikaylaShoup

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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