SAN FRANCISCO – A man who may be one of the nation's most prolific child molesters is set to go to trial Monday, more than a year after police found journals in his home believed to detail the abuse of hundreds of young boys.
Dean Schwartzmiller is accused of abusing two 12-year-old cousins and is charged with multiple counts of child molestation and child pornography in connection with the boys, whom he befriended in December 2002.
If convicted, he faces life in prison.
Schwartzmiller, 64, has pleaded not guilty and intends to defend himself when his trial begins in a Santa Clara County courtroom. He recently dismissed his public defender.
When Schwartzmiller was arrested in May 2005, San Jose police found notebooks containing 36,700 entries, with codes for each boy's anatomy and personality. It's unclear how many actual victims are represented — many of the line items are duplications, and police believe some may describe his fantasies. Nonetheless, police believe Schwartzmiller's victims number in the hundreds.
Police said he was also crafting a lengthy memoir about his sexual exploits with boys.
Schwartzmiller has a track record representing himself in court: he's already gotten at least two other convictions overturned and was twice set free on appeal.
In 1976, he argued his case before the Idaho Supreme Court and won. He tried again in 1983, arguing "vague" legal definitions of illegal sexual acts. He lost, but the justices recommended that the state legislature should clarify the law.
A former defense lawyer, James Kevan, has described Schwartzmiller as wily, charismatic and "smarter than heck."
Schwartzmiller was arrested in Washington state where he had fled after his roommate, Fred Everts, was arrested on an outstanding warrant, authorities said.
Everts was convicted in February of 18 counts of child molestation. He faces life in prison at his sentencing Sept. 8. His public defender, Ed Lopez, said Friday that Schwartzmiller has subpoenaed Everts to testify.
"I'm anticipating his defense is going to be that Mr. Everts lied to police, that he's the one who molested these children," Lopez said, adding that another witness for Schwartzmiller is a jail inmate who says Everts told him Schwartzmiller is innocent.
Everts has nothing to lose or gain by testifying at Schwartzmiller's trial, Lopez said.
"Mr. Everts is testifying because he wants the truth to come out. He doesn't want Dean Schwartzmiller to get away with committing these crimes," Lopez said. "In a sense, he's on the DA's side."
Reached late Friday, prosecutor Steve Fein refused to comment, citing a gag order in the case.