A Nanaimo man will spend time behind bars after coaxing an autistic teenage boy to touch him sexually.
Devon Douglas Schulz, 34, pleaded guilty Friday in provincial court in Nanaimo to one count of invitation to sexual touching under 16. He was sentenced to 18 months in jail by Judge Ronald Lamperson, following a joint submission from Nick Barber, Crown counsel, and Chris Churchill, Schulz’s legal counsel.
It was revealed in court that Schulz had convinced a 14-year-old to touch him in an inappropriate manner and perform a lewd act in May.
There was no evidence Schulz touched the victim in a sexual manner, Lamperson said, and a charge of sexual assault against Schulz was stayed.
Schulz addressed the court, tearfully stating he was sorry for his actions and the pain he caused his victim and the victim’s family. Schulz said his actions caused him to lose his job, trust and confidence. He said he would continue to focus on self-awareness to ensure this never happens again.
An aggravating factor, according to Barber, was that Schulz was in a position of trust and breached that.
Among mitigating factors presented was the fact that Schulz has taken steps to address his problems enrolling in sex offender treatment programming with an upper Island group. He was gainfully employed, most recently working at a high-risk youth house, and was a good student with a bachelor of arts degree in child and youth care.
Schulz is a first-time offender and Churchill, citing a pre-sentence report, said Schulz witnessed his mother, present in the courtroom, suffering abuse at the hands of Schulz’s biological father. He attempted suicide and will never work in his previous field of employment again after having lost his job due to his offence.
Lamperson recommends that Schulz serve his sentence at Ford Mountain Correctional Centre in Chilliwack, which has programming for sexual offenders.
The mandatory minimum for such an offence is a one-year prison sentence.