An Indiana man is to face no prison time despite being convicted of sexually molesting his daughter, who was suffering from cancer at the time.
Jeremy Schwer, 41, was charged with the offenses in 2015.
Schwer pleaded guilty in court March 1 to felony child molestation. The abuse occurred following his daughter’s diagnosis with cancer in 2013, when doctors discovered a brain tumor.
Schwer and his now estranged wife used to take turns caring for the girl overnight. The girl eventually told her mother what was happening after two years.
According to testimony from the now 7-year-old girl, her father made her touch his “peepeeluca,” the family’s word for private parts, the Indianapolis Star reports.
She also told officials that Schwer touched her "peepeeluca" and asked her to sit on his “cat tail.”
The father's affidavit shows that he told the girl not to tell anyone, otherwise he would go to jail, the New York Daily News notes.
During the time when the abuse began, the girl had begun to lose her memory and found it difficult to speak due to the cancer.
“This is the most horrific circumstance of a child molest case that I’ve ever seen,” Deputy Prosecutor Courtney Curtis said.
Curtis urged the judge to sentence Schwer to at least nine years behind bars.
But Schwer’s wife wrote a letter to the court urging that he not be imprisoned. She wrote that if he remained free, he could financially support his family.
Curtis opposed this, saying Schwer had been out of jail for the past year and hadn’t offered any financial assistance to his two children.
But the Schwer's attorney, John Campbell, replied that his client had been unemployed but had recently found a job and was determined to devote his life to supporting his family, according to the Indianapolis Star.
The Marion County Superior Court judge decided to sentence Schwer to 12 years of probation and included an order that he move out of the family home. Schwer will also have to register as a sex offender.
The girl received treatment for her cancer for several months and is expected to make a recovery, the New York Daily News reports.