CLEARFIELD – The wife of an Amish man accused of molesting his daughters pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of children for her part in the assaults Tuesday.
Sarah A. Schmucker, 52, was sentenced by President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman to three years probation.
Her husband, Wallace J. Schmucker, 55, of Punxsutawney has also signed a plea agreement and is scheduled to be sentenced in December.
Wallace Schmucker was charged in March with two counts of aggravated indecent assault, four counts of endangering the welfare of a child, four counts of corruption of minors, two counts of indecent exposure and 11 counts of indecent assault on person less than 16 years old in relation to incidents that happened between 2004 and January of 2016 at his Bell Township home.
According to the affidavit, during that time period, Schmucker allegedly touched four girls aged 13 years old to 15 years old inappropriately. This included touching their private area and breasts.
Prior to sentencing, Ammerman asked why the attorney general’s office who is prosecuting the case was satisfied with a probation sentence for her.
Deputy Attorney General Patrick Schulte stated that their target was her husband and Wallace Schmucker believed if he signed an open plea agreement, it would spare her a jail sentence.
An open plea leaves the term of incarceration up to the court.
When Ammerman asked if she said something earlier would the other girls not have been molested, Schulte said “yes.”
Ammerman then questioned what message he would be sending to the community to only give her probation and if this was the result because she was Amish.
Schulte said no, their religion did not factor into the plea and the sentence had been cleared by his superiors in the attorney general’s office.
Ammerman noted that the probation office recommended that he reject the plea and ask for a sentence of nine months in the county jail. But he also stated that Sarah Schmucker had no previous criminal record.
None of the victims of which the youngest is now 18 years old were in court to speak about the case and none of them have responded to requests to write a victim impact statement, Schulte said.