40-year term in attempted sex assault
EAGLE – Both cried. She cried about what happened on March 12, 2005, in her car at the Vail parking garage. He cried for what he had done to her and another victim. “I have no excuse – sorry doesn’t cut it,” Jonathan Schut, 27, told the judge who sentenced him to 40 years in prison Monday for attempted sexual assault and first-degree burglary.”I can’t remember everything that happened, but I take responsibility”, said Schut, a former Eagle resident.The victim, a 30-year-old Denver woman, cried during most of the two-hour long hearing and her hands were shaking as Vail police officer Robin Fetterolf, described details of her encounter with Schut. She cried again when District Court Judge Russell Granger gave Schut the maximum sentence.”There’s no way this hasn’t affected my life – I know 40 years is a long time, but this is something that will be in my life forever,” the victim said in the hearing. “I’ve never been in a situation where I thought I would die. I didn’t sleep a night through for four months – I was afraid he would show up.”Schut is also accused of breaking into an Eagle woman’s room in March 18, 2005. He pleaded guilty in June, and on Monday he got 32 years for first-degree burglary and 8 years for attempted sexual assault.”This is an extremely serious crime, one of the most serious we’ve had, and we’re very happy with the sentence,” said District Attorney Mark Hurlbert after the sentencing.Hurlbert said the victim’s testimony in court was very powerful.”Even 18 months later, that this crime still affects her, that it still resonates with her and it’s something that she will be living with for the rest of her life, it was extremely powerful,” he said.Fetterolf recounted the victim’s story in court Monday: Schut pushed the woman inside her car and closed the door; he then pinned her down saying, “Give me all your money.” When he saw she didn’t have much, he flipped her around and placed his knee on her neck and said, “If you try to scream again, I’ll stab you,” Fetterolf said.After that, Schut pulled her pants down and touched the woman’s vagina, but then the woman’s friends showed up, and Schut ran, punching one in the face, Fetterolf said. Schut planned the March 18 offense well enough in advance that he brought a ladder to get into the victim’s house, Fetterolf said.There were pleas Monday from Schut’s public defender Ken Barker and his adoptive father, Bob Schut, to take into account that Jonathan Schut was the biological son of an alcoholic woman and the victim of fetal alcohol syndrome. Research says the condition can cause brain damage and in many cases encounters with the criminal system, Barker told the judge.”It doesn’t excuse it, but it explains a pattern,” Barker said. “People with fetal alcohol syndrome don’t start at the same place as people who don’t have it. Mr. Schut is an alcoholic and a drug addict.”Looking at the victims, Bob Schut, a minister from Mescalero, N.M., said he wanted to extend his and his wife’s apologies to them.”We had a daughter who was raped,” he said. “We’d like to help if we can.”Granger said Schut’s crimes prove he is a threat. “There are two cases that show a pattern of sexual assault,” Granger said. “There was physical harm in both offenses. The court finds, also based on (Schut’s) criminal history, there’s substantial concern for public safety.”
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