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Molester left long trail

 (The Spokesman-Review)
Schwartzmiller (The Spokesman-Review)
Kim Curtis Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO – Despite being arrested at least nine times on suspicion of molesting boys, Dean Arthur Schwartzmiller managed to avoid lengthy prison terms, coach youth football, move in with another convicted sex offender – and be named by authorities as one of the most prolific child molesters in history.

Schwartzmiller’s criminal record began 35 years ago, but he never registered as a sex offender and spent just 12 years in prison. In his time on the outside, police suspect he molested children as many as 36,000 times in several states, Mexico and Brazil.

“Smarter than heck,” is how James Kevan, one of his defense lawyers in the mid-1970s, described Schwartzmiller Friday.

“He could write up legal documents better than most lawyers,” Kevan said.

Often defending himself in court, Schwartzmiller got two of his four convictions overturned, although the Idaho Supreme Court called him a repeat offender who “uses his intelligence to take advantage of the weak and oppressed and those who are in need.”

With Schwartzmiller, 63, being held without bail on charges involving two San Jose boys, police and the FBI are trying to retrace his movements over the last 30 years. A search of Schwartzmiller’s San Jose home turned up spiral-bound notebooks with notes on more than 36,000 encounters with children in categories such as “Blond Boys,” “Cute Boys” and “Boys who say no” with codes appearing to indicate how he abused them, San Jose Police Lt. Scott Cornfield said.

In court records released Friday, authorities said Schwartzmiller lived for five years with another sex offender he met in jail – Freddie Everts, 34. The pair allegedly lured boys to their home with gifts including skateboards, video games and a motor bike.

Everts said Schwartzmiller claimed to be dying from an undisclosed illness and was keeping notes on his “encounters with boys” for a manuscript, according to court records. Everts is in jail on charges he failed to register as a sex offender. Kevan said he knew Schwartzmiller as Tim Miller, one of many aliases, when they lived in Mountain Home, Idaho, near the Sawtooths.

When they first met, Schwartzmiller was coaching a youth football team. In retrospect, there were signs something was wrong – like the time he took the team to a game in Boise and they “stopped in the desert to do a jock strap check.”

By that point, Schwartzmiller had already been convicted of molesting boys. His record appears to date back to 1970, when he was convicted in Alaska of lewd and lascivious conduct with three teen boys. He was sentenced to two years’ probation, then indicted two years later for molesting another boy. He apparently fled the state before he could be tried.

Over the years, Schwartzmiller was convicted of molestation charges at least four times, but was acquitted once and avoided prosecution on other charges. When he first came to authorities’ attention, there were no Megan’s Laws or three-strikes laws, and Americans were less aware of the ramifications of child sexual abuse.

Schwartzmiller spent about two years in prison on the Idaho charges before he appealed his conviction to the Idaho Supreme Court and won in 1978. The following year, two 14-year-old boys said he molested them and he fled again – this time to Oregon, where he was arrested again, accused of bringing a boy from Little Rock, Ark., to San Francisco in June 1980. Authorities said Schwartzmiller had forced the boy into prostitution. The U.S. Attorney’s office deferred prosecution to authorities in Idaho, where he served another six years in prison for molesting boys.

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