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Local child sexual assault victims vindicated as their abuser gets 14 years jail

Jun 26, 2023

Wilberforce man, Michael Scholz, has been convicted of the sexual abuse of two local teenage girls and sentenced to 14 years in prison. The 59-year-old was found guilty of 13 offences that occurred in 2021 by a jury and will serve at least eight years and eight months without parole.

Scholz, who had previously served as volunteer Head of the Rural Fire Service (RFS) brigade in Wilberforce, had already spent some time behind bars before being released on bail.  During that time had been living in the local community, leading to encounters with one of the victims on multiple occasions.

Scholz pleaded not guilty to the offences and made no admissions during the trial. His earliest release date is 28th September 2031. The offences occurred in the Hawkesbury area between January and April 2021.

Scholz was sentenced to 14 years jail with his earliest possible release on 28th September, 2031.

The investigation into Scholz’s crimes began in April 2021 when Hawkesbury Police Area Command received reports of a 15-year-old girl allegedly being sexually assaulted by an individual known to her. Detectives later arrested Scholz at his residence in Wilberforce.

Scholz was taken to Windsor Police Station, where he faced charges including aggravated sexual assault against a victim under the age of 16, two counts of intentionally touching a child between the ages of 10 and 16, two counts of aggravated sexual assault against another person, and aggravated sexual assault against a victim under the authority of the offender.

During the trial, the Court heard that Scholz held a high standing role within the Hawkesbury community. He had attended local schools with the RFS fire vehicle and teaching children all the facets involved to become a firefighter.

Video evidence that was supplied to the court showed the perpetrator had purchased alcohol for the girls, who were both underage, and allowed them to drive a vehicle on local public roads.

On Anzac Day eve in 2021 Scholz abused one of the girls whilst his sons slept nearby. The next morning he took the victim and his children to the Dawn Service.

Both girls were cross examined and read their Victim Impact Statements to the court.

An RFS spokesperson said that as soon as the RFS became aware of the charges laid against Mr Scholz in May 2021, he was immediately stood down. Following his conviction earlier this year, he was subsequently removed as a member. Mr Scholz will not be eligible to rejoin the RFS in the future.

We have left comments on this post but we ask you to be respectful and aware of harm that may be caused by commentary on this story to any victims of sexual assault and their families.

Anyone with concerns about suspected child abuse or exploitation should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au

Police underline, information you provide will be treated in the strictest of confidence. Do not report crime information via Facebook and Twitter pages.

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