Man sent away for sexual abuse |

Man sent away for sexual abuse

Gregory Crofton

A 55-year-old man cried silently and kept his head down in shame as a judge sentenced him to 12 years in prison. Drew Seitz is going to prison for molesting a student he taught at a Sunday school.

In December, Seitz volunteered his guilt at the police station after someone placed an anonymous tip accusing him of the crimes.

Seitz, a foster parent at South Shore from 1986 to 1996, will have to serve 85 percent of his sentence because the crime he pleaded guilty to, continuous sexual abuse of a child, is considered a violent felony.

In El Dorado County Superior Court Thursday, Seitz’s public defender, David Rogers, tried to persuade Judge Jerald Lasarow to sentence his client to six years. He argued his client would have better access to treatment for his diagnosed pedophilia if given the lesser sentence.

Rogers then called Paul Seitz, the defendant’s adopted son, to speak. Seitz, now a corporal in the Marines, came from San Diego to be at the sentencing.

“I went to live with the Seitzes in 1991 … before that I was involved with drugs,” said Paul Seitz. “Biggest thing I want to say is that I wouldn’t be where I am today except for him. He’s done a lot of good things for people. He taught me unconditional love. I never would have known what it was except for him.”

Rogers later read portions of an apology his client had written: “I hate myself for what I have done. I have so much remorse inside of me. I have caused so much pain not only to the victim and his family but my family and my friends. I have lost all my dignity, my self-respect, my pride and my honor.”

El Dorado County Deputy District Attorney Peter O’Hara quickly reminded the judge that Drew Seitz molested the 11-year-old more than 30 times. The acts sometimes occurred after Seitz took the child to see a movie.

O’Hara argued that this boy may not have been his only victim. “Is this an isolated incident? No. At least one other event has been admitted by the defendant,” he said. “He’s accused of having other sexual affairs with another boy in 1995.” Seitz has implied that boy was not from South Shore, O’Hara said.

Then O’Hara spoke about a strange aspect of the case. The victim and his mother have been visiting Seitz in jail. The victim’s 27-year-old sister spoke in court begging Lasarow to do what he could to keep them away from the defendant.

“If he was to be released he would go back in their lives,” she said. “I believe she is drinking on a daily basis to cover this up. I would like all contact stopped between him and my mother and brother.”

Another sister of the victim expressed similar sentiments in a letter. “I love my mother dearly, but I think what she is doing is wrong,” said the 29-year-old. “She says she is in love with Drew Seitz and wants a life with him … I have witnessed her telling my brother he needs to talk to this man that has taken away his innocence and trust. I feel that my mother has been manipulated by Drew and does not want to see the reality in what effect it has had on (my brother).”

As part of his sentence, Seitz is to end all communication with the boy. Lasarow said he could do nothing to stop his mother from seeing Seitz.

In his final words, the judge commended the defendant for the positive things he has done for people like Paul, but he said his behavior is inexcusable and can only be punished by prison.

“Mr. Seitz, I used to wave to you when I would jog by. I have known you for years. You shocked and disappointed a lot of us, but there is still good in you.”

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