Accused Child Molester Appears in Court

A man who authorities say could be the nation's most prolific child molester made his first court appearance Wednesday on charges of felony molestation involving two 12-year-old cousins.

Dean A. Schwartzmiller (search), 63, did not enter a plea, and the case was continued until July 26 in Santa Clara Superior Court.

Schwartzmiller, appearing drawn and gaunt, did not enter the courtroom but stood in the doorway of a corridor leading from a holding cell as the judge addressed his attorney.

Schwartzmiller was arrested earlier this month after investigators said they discovered notebooks with more than 36,000 handwritten entries of boys' names, descriptions of their anatomy and codes for suspected sex acts.

Outside court, prosecutor Steve Fein sought cooperation from other possible victims.

"I would say if there are any victims, it's very important to come forward so we can get any information," Fein said.

Schwartzmiller is being held without bail on one count of aggravated sexual assault on a child under 14 and six counts of lewd and lascivious conduct on a child under 14. He faces two lifetime sentences if convicted.

Schwartzmiller has been arrested at least nine times since 1970 and spent 12 years in prison. Although investigators don't know exactly how many victims there are, they believe there potentially could be hundreds or even thousands of them.

Attorneys said the case was continued to allow both sides to review additional information. Schwartzmiller's attorney did not appear outside court for comment.

San Jose police became involved after a family member came to them with a computer disk containing images of child pornography they said Schwartzmiller had given their boys.