Five law officers were stationed in Gage County District Court yesterday as a precaution against any conflicts between family members of the defendant and victim, during the sentencing hearing.
Jason Schriner was sentenced to the maximum five years in prison on each of the two convictions, to be served consecutively.
Schriner entered Alford pleas in Gage County District Court last January, denying guilt, but opting to plead guilty to avoid the potential for being convicted of more serious charges. He had been set to go on trial in February, on two counts of first-degree sexual assault of a child.
Deputy Gage County Attorney Rick Schreiner said the case involved the assault of a five-year-old girl, who twice recalled the same events in separate interviews at the Child Advocacy Center.
“He got a significant benefit from what was originally pled,” Schreiner says. “Speaking with the victim’s mother, she would like to put this behind her and didn’t necessarily want her to testify at a jury trial, although she would have and she would have done a fine job.”
When asked how many times it had happened to her, Schreiner said the victim first counted on her fingers and then said, “a million times.”
District Judge Paul Korslund noted the victim was in the care of Jason Schriner while the victim’s mother was at work.
“There is evidence in the investigation that she is suffering, as one might well expect, from having these things occur to her,” Korslund says. “For her, that’s probably somewhat of a life sentence.”
Gage County Public Defender Stephanie Clark says Jason Schriner had spent 387 days in custody. The judge said anything less than consecutive, maximum sentences would have depreciated from the seriousness of the crimes.
Jason Schriner is under civil commitment for a sexual offender evaluation and will be on lifetime parole supervision. He could be eligible for parole in about four years.
By Doug Kennedy, KWBE, Beatrice