Dale Schaeffer – Repeat Sex Offender – Enabled by wife

Five years ago, a Lehigh Township man escaped with probation for fondling a 14-year-old boy. The judge said he was persuaded by the man’s apparent success as a father and the impassioned pleas of his longtime wife.

On Friday, Dale Schaeffer was before the same judge on a second sex offense conviction. This time, Northampton County Judge Leonard Zito sent him to state prison after hearing similar testimony from the wife, who fainted during the proceeding and had to be brought a chair.

”I am confronted now with a much different situation,” Zito said. ”He is clearly a repeat offender. He is clearly an individual who has not changed since I last saw him.”

Schaeffer, 68, must serve 18 months to three years on misdemeanor charges of indecent assault and corruption of minors. He admitted to rubbing the chest of, and talking sexually with, a 17-year-old boy who had dropped by his house while looking for a missing cat.

Schaeffer told a probation officer that he has molested 13 children in his lifetime and engaged in casual sex with men and women, according to a presentence investigation.

As he was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs, he muttered something to the victim’s mother, prompting a sheriff’s deputy to tell him to be quiet.

Assistant District Attorney Patricia Broscius said Schaeffer is a dangerous man, and she had asked for the maximum sentence of up to seven years.

”He’s demonstrated that he has no control over his issues,” Broscius said. ”He’s got a sexual aggression that he cannot control.”

Schaeffer suffers from many health concerns, including diabetes and high blood pressure, according to his wife, Barbara, and defense attorney Edmund Healy.

”I’m worried about his medical care when he goes to prison,” said Barbara Schaeffer. ”I’m worried he won’t make it through.”

Schaeffer apologized in court and said he re-enrolled in sex offender therapy immediately after what he did.

”It took just 10 seconds to screw another family up and hurt my wife more than I did before,” Schaeffer said.

In the 2004 case, Zito gave Schaeffer 18 months of probation on a misdemeanor charge of indecent assault. A year later, he was resentenced to three to six months in prison after he was kicked out of treatment for being dishonest, according to the court record.

After he serves his new prison sentence, Schaeffer will have two years of probation.

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”
………Sarah Tofte

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