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Steven Schwab to be tried for Child Molestation After Withdrawal of Guilty Plea

Unwilling to serve jail time, the prominent Island businessman and community member withdrew his guilty plea and will now stand trial in December

Steven A. Schwab, vice-president of Martha's Vineyard Insurance Agency, and a homeowner in Chilmark, appeared before Justice H. Gregory Williams in Edgartown District Court last Friday prepared to plead guilty to charges of indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14, and open and gross lewdness, as part of a plea agreement reported the Martha’s Vineyard Times.However, Schwab and his lawyers withdrew the guilty plea when, “Judge Williams rejected a request for no jail time and ordered Mr. Schwab to serve one year in jail.”

Schwab was arrested last April and charged with two counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14, and two counts of open and gross lewdness. The charges arose from crimes police allege occurred in Chilmark and West Tisbury. Schwab owns a home in both of those towns, but was living in Vineyard Haven at the time of his arrest.

The Times reported that according to police reports filed at the time of his arrest, Schwab repeatedly exposed himself to a seven-year-old girl from July 2007 to November 2008. In September 2012, Schwab admitted to all of the crimes. Cape & Islands assistant district attorney Laura Marshard recommended that Schwab serve a year and a half in an off-Island house of correction, followed by five years of probation and registration as a sex offender. Schwab’s lawyer, Charles Morano, recommended no jail time, three years of probation and registration as a sex offender.

“Unwilling to accept a one-year jail sentence, Mr. Schwab exercised his right to withdraw his plea and go to trial,” reported the Times. Judge Williams ordered the trial to begin on December 10.

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