The state Court of Appeals rejected a former West Bend funeral home director's bid today to have his prison sentence reduced for soliciting sex online from a 13-year-old boy and possessing child pornography.
Curtis J. Schmidt, 70, was sentenced in September 2006 by Ozaukee County Circuit Judge Paul V. Malloy to 15 years in prison - 18 months on each of five counts of possessing child pornography, 18 months for providing harmful material to a child and six years for soliciting sex from a 13-year-old boy in Colorado. Each sentence is to run consecutive to the others.
The 15 years is 18 months shy of the maximum allowed under the law.
Schmidt appealed the sentence, contending, among other things, that the trial court failed to explain why lengthy consecutive sentences were necessary and appropriate. He alleged that the trial court erroneously exercised its discretion by imposing consecutive sentences.
Schmidt also contended that the trial court erroneously exercised its discretion by considering disputed, unproven and inaccurate information at sentencing, and by giving undue weight to past undesirable conduct while failing to consider positive factors.
But the appeals court today said Malloy acted within his discretion and provided a rational explanation for the sentences.
According to court documents, Schmidt met the Colorado boy in an online chat room and told him in an e-mail that he wanted to have sex with him and one of his friends.
That and other messages were discovered by the boy's mother, who turned them over to law enforcement.
At Schmidt's sentencing, Malloy cited a history of abuse that included sexually assaulting two nephews; two incidents in Milwaukee for which Schmidt was cited in the 1970s and 1980s; and photographs of child pornography and the genitals of corpses that were discovered by a construction crew at a house in which Schmidt used to live.
It is the second time Schmidt has tried to reduce his sentence. In September 2007, Schmidt filed a motion asking Malloy to modify the prison term.