While Brady Schoonover, 22, appears at a Feb. 23 sentencing hearing on sexual assault charges in Kenosha County Circuit Court, his public defender Hilary Edwards reviews notes in preparation for defense arguments (Jason Arndt/The Report).

Victim’s family believes sentence is insufficient

By Jason Arndt

Brady T. Schoonover, convicted of second-degree sexual assault of a child, was sentenced to six years behind bars along with six years extended supervision following a Feb. 26 hearing in Kenosha County Circuit Court.

Before Kenosha County Circuit Court judge Bruce Schroeder, Assistant District Attorney James Kraus said the victim, who is now 17 years old, suffered mental and physical hardship from the assaults, which occurred three years earlier in the Town of Wheatland.

“She made a statement that if she lost the defendant, she would kill herself,” said Kraus, who told Schroeder the victim eventually became the target of bullying when she entered high school.

The victim, according to the criminal complaint, was 14 years old at the time of the assaults.

The complaint states the victim, who met Schoonover on Facebook two years earlier, told a Wheatland Center School guidance counselor that she was coerced into having sexual intercourse on at least two occasions at New Munster Ball Park in March 2015.

The guidance counselor, who was told Schoonover was 17 to 18 years old, immediately alerted authorities of the offenses.

Schoonover, now 22, however, was 20 years old when the assaults occurred.

The complaint alleges the victim, who suffered an injury during the assault, feared losing Schoonover as a friend if she told anyone about the sexual acts.

According to the victim’s father, who issued an emotional charged statement during the Feb. 26 hearing, the assaults continue his daughter three years later.

“That’s a sexual predator of the law!” said the father, who will remain anonymous to protect the identity of the victim. “My daughter has been dealing with this for years.”

After his 30-second statement, which left him in tears, he went to the lobby of the Kenosha County Courthouse, where a victim witness advocate and Sheriff’s deputy consoled him.

Meanwhile, inside the courtroom, Schoonover told Schroeder he did not intend to cause harm to the victim.

“I don’t believe you, I think you are lying,” Schroeder said in response. “There is a moral component; you can actually damage people’s lives.”

Schroeder, taking the defense recommendation of one year incarceration with five to six years extended supervision, sentenced Schoonover to six years incarceration and six years extended supervision.

Schoonover initially was charged with three counts of second-degree sexual assault of a child, three counts of child enticement and use of a computer to facilitate a child sex crime.

Schoonover, however, reached a plea agreement with prosecutors last November, when he pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree sexual assault of a child, which carried a maximum 40 years in prison.

The lighter sentence did not sit well with the father.

After Schoonover’s sentencing, the father said outside the courthouse the sentence “was not enough” considering he faces sentencing in Walworth County on three counts of first-degree sexual assault of a child.

“I can deal with a murder, anything, but a child molester?” he asked.

“They are no good, they do nothing but ruin people’s lives, especially little kids,” he said. “You shouldn’t hurt a little kid.”

The victim’s mother, meanwhile, recounted her daughter’s attempt to kill herself after Schoonover’s arrest.

“We almost lost our daughter because she tried to commit suicide,” she said. “She was in the hospital for almost seven days because she overdosed on her medications.”

While the father believes the sentence was not enough, he and the mother hope Walworth County can impose a harsher sentence, which could be up to 180 years in prison.

In Walworth County, Schoonover was found guilty on three counts of first-degree sexual assault of a now-16-year-old boy in Pell Lake for five to seven years on Jan. 24.

The Walworth County case also involves his brother, Tayler, 22, who also was found guilty on similar charges.

Brady Schoonover faces an April 2 sentencing hearing.

“Let’s hope Walworth County does consecutive, because there is a lot more time there,” the Kenosha County victim’s father said.


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