Judge refuses to reduce sentence of child molester | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Judge refuses to reduce sentence of child molester

Robert Stern

A judge found no reason to reduce the 12-year-sentence of a man who pleaded guilty to molesting an 11-year-old boy.

Drew Seitz, 55, confessed to engaging in oral copulation with the boy, now 13 years old, in December after police were notified of his actions by an anonymous tip.

El Dorado County Superior Court Judge Jerald Lasarow said he could not reduce the sentence.

“This is going to be a confusing chapter in his life,” Lasarow said of the boy’s relationship with Seitz.

Seitz, a foster parent at South Shore from 1986 to 1996, will have to serve 85 percent of his crime, considered a violent felony.

Seitz was assigned public defender Rick Meyer to handle the request for a reduced sentence. Seitz was previously represented by public defender David Rogers.

The crime carries a maximum penalty of 16 years, but Lasarow, who sentenced Seitz at the end of May did not have the authority to increase the sentence only to reduce it.

Meyer argued the crime Seitz committed should receive the lowest possible sentence, which is six years. Seitz, Meyer said, had contributed positively to the community and to the boy.

“If selection of years is simply to measure our disgust, the sky is the limit . . . but that isn’t the measure,” Meyer said.

The crime carries penalties of 6, 12, or 16 years, depending on the callousness of the acts.

Seitz told the boy he did not have to engage in sexual activity if he did not want to, Meyer said.

“(Seitz) would always tell me it was wrong and if I felt uncomfortable, I should say something,” the boy told the court.

“He helped me in so many ways, and I think that was ignored by the court,” the boy added.

The boy would go over to Seitz’s house several times a week, but said not every encounter was sexual. Most of the time Seitz would teach him about cars, motorcycles and bikes and helped him with school. The boy said he engaged in sexual contact with Seitz on 12 to 15 different occasions over a period of about a year.

The court had previously established that Seitz molested the boy over 30 times, but when asked, the boy said otherwise.

“That’s totally outrageous,” he said. “That’s more than how many times it happened,” he said.

But questions were raised about the boy’s ability to understand the situation considering his young age.

“There has been a lot of harm to (the boy),” Lasarow said.

Meyer argued that Seitz was not a callous man and therefore should be given the lesser sentence.

“This is not a hard man who confesses on the first day, and said ‘I did it,'” Meyer said.

But deputy district attorney, Peter O’Hara, argued the contrary. “He’s talking about quickies with an 11-year-old,” O’Hara said.

The boy and his mother, who was in a relationship with Seitz, had visited him in jail. But according to the ruling, neither the boy or his mother can have any contact with Seitz.

“We all hope and pray that (the boy) can get through these issues and become a very successful man,” Lasarow said.

The boy’s 27-year-old sister said, after the ruling, she was happy the sentence was not reduced.

“I think (Lasarow) made the best decision the first time,” she said. “I’m glad he made the same decision again, and (Seitz) will get the punishment he deserves.”

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