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For Immediate Release

Child Molester Sentenced to Life In Prison

SANTA ROSA, CA | March 26, 2024

Brian Douglas Schmitt Sr., 78 years old of Petaluma, was sentenced today by the Honorable Robert LaForge to serve thirty years to life in state prison following a jury trial conducted in January at which Schmitt was found guilty of four felony sex offenses committed against a child.

District Attorney Rodriguez stated, “This defendant put the victim, and victim’s entire family, through a devastating experience. We hope this jury’s verdict, and the court’s sentence, give them some sense of solace.”

At the trial in January, a jury was presented with the case against Schmitt. They learned that Schmitt had established himself as trusted member of the victim’s family, and that Schmitt would regularly spend time with the victim until the abuse was disclosed in July of 2022. Following the victim’s disclosure of abuse, and the Petaluma Police Department’s subsequent investigation, Schmitt was charged with offenses related to sexual penetration of a child who was ten years of age or younger, as well as with committing lewd acts with a child under the age of fourteen. At the conclusion of the trial, the jury quickly returned guilty verdicts related to all charged offenses.

At today’s sentencing hearing, Schmitt asked for leniency. He offered an apology to the victim’s family, citing marijuana use as one of the main drivers of his conduct. Rejecting Schmitt’s request, Judge LaForge recalled the trial and confronted Schmitt with “the incredible damage that you have done to a number of people, basically an entire family that is going to carry on for years.” Judge LaForge further found that Schmitt was a “danger to the community [and] a danger to the children,” before sentencing him to serve a total of thirty years to life in state prison, the maximum sentence permitted for Schmitt’s crimes.

The trial was conducted by Deputy District Attorney Brian Morimune, assisted by District Attorney Investigator Stephen Bussell. Seargent Ronald Flores headed the investigation on behalf of the Petaluma Police Department.


Contact Information

Media Spokesperson, Assistant District Attorney Brian Staebell
Media Coordinator, Carrie Trevena
(707) 565-3098