OGDEN — An Ogden man convicted of sexually abusing children in both Weber and Davis counties was sentenced to a prison term Monday morning.
John Paul Schneidewend, 24, is ordered to serve at least the next 10 years in prison for sexually abusing multiple children. In April, Schneidewend pleaded guilty to one count of forcible sodomy and two counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, all first-degree felonies.
Schneidewend was first charged in Ogden’s district court in 2016 with 15 felonies, 10 of which were charges of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony. Aside from the three charges to which he pleaded guilty, all other charges against Schneidewend were dropped in the Ogden case.
In July 2018, prosecutors in Davis County filed additional charges against Schneidewend, alleging he abused children in a second county. Those charges consisted of six counts of sodomy on a child, a first-degree felony, and two counts of sex abuse of a child, a second-degree felony.
In April, Schneidewend pleaded guilty to two reduced charges: attempted sodomy on a child, a second-degree felony. He was sentenced to serve two concurrent terms of 10 years to life in prison, court records show.
Already in prison custody, Schneidewend appeared in an Ogden court wearing a white uniform typical of those in custody at the Utah State Prison.
Schneidewend’s attorney, Emily Swenson, requested that his prison terms run concurrently with the charges from Davis County, adding that Schneidewend hopes to one day leave prison and become a productive member of society.
Deputy Weber County Attorney Nicholas Caine said the state agreed to go abide by the 10 years to life recommendation, saying the state was satisfied with the plea deal because they didn’t want the young victims to take the stand in the event of a trial.
Family members for the different victims spoke briefly during the Monday hearing. One asked Judge Camille Neider to give Schneidewend the longest prison term possible, another told him he doesn’t deserve to be released from prison.
“I’ll never forgive you,” one person said. “You should be ashamed of yourself.”
Caine read a letter written by one of Schneidewend’s victims, who said that the trauma inflicted has made it difficult for the child to trust people anymore.
When asked if he wanted to address the court, Schneidewend declined to speak.
Shortly before Neider sentenced Schneidewend to a prison term to run concurrent with the sentence he’s already serving, she told the victims in court that she hopes the hearing could give some kind of closure. She said she hopes that the trauma does not define them going forward.
“I hope you can overcome this,” Neider said.
Schneidewend will continue to be in the custody of the Utah Department of Corrections to serve is prison term. As of Monday, Schneidewend was serving his time at the Utah State Prison in Draper.