A former Fallston psychologist, who sexually abused three girls under his care, will serve 18 months in jail, rather than the six years he agreed to as part of a plea agreement reached with prosecutors in August.
Despite calling it a "sad and distressing case," retired Harford County Circuit Judge Maurice Baldwin Monday sharply modified the sentence David Wayne Schrumpf, 56, of the 4400 block of Prospect Road in Whiteford, from what Schrumpf had agreed to when he entered an Alford plea, which is not an admission of guilt, but rather an acknowledgment that the state had enough evidence to get a conviction. Baldwin was also the judge who accepted that earlier plea.
Claiming Schrumpf was diagnosed a month ago with an irregular heartbeat with a recommended drug treatment that needs regular monitoring he could not get in the Department of Corrections, Richard Karceski, Schrumpf's Towson-based lawyer, asked Baldwin to consider sentencing Schrumpf to the serve the maximum amount of time allowed at a detention center, 18 months, followed by home confinement then probation.
"The condition needs to be very closely monitored" or Schrumpf could die, Karceski said.
In issuing his sentence, Baldwin agreed to have Schrumpf serve 18 months at the Harford County Detention Center, followed by one year of home confinement.
Schrumpf will be on probation for five years, a period that will begin following his release from jail and will include the year of home confinement. He will also have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
"I'm disappointed that the judge did not see fit to give him the sentence we were seeking because I feel that it was the appropriate sentence," Diane Adkins Tobin, the assistant state's attorney who prosecuted the case, said Tuesday, the day after Schrumpf was sentenced in Harford Circuit Court. "However, I am satisfied that law enforcement and the prosecution did everything in our power to make sure that he will never have another opportunity to prey upon our vulnerable children."
Saying Schrumpf has lost many things, including his reputation and license, Tobin said: "he lost his stream of potential victims coming to his office."
"So in the end, stopping him was very important and that is what we accomplished," Tobin added.
Schrumpf was charged in December 2010 with 10 counts of third-degree sex offense and 10 counts of sex abuse of a minor in connection with abuse of a 7-year-old and 10-year-old girl who were being treated by Schrumpf at his office in the 2300 block of Belair Road in Fallston.
According to the testimony, the younger girl said Schrumpf abused her during her five most recent visits. When the mom questioned her older daughter, she also said Schrumpf touched her inappropriately. When police arrested Schrumpf in connection with the alleged abuse, they observed child pornography on his home computer, which he ran to try and turn off, according to police and prosecutors.
The third girl, who was 8, came forward after her parents heard of the abuse of the sisters, Tobin said. The parents questioned their daughter, who admitted Schrumpf had abused her. He was indicted in that case in April.
In August, Schrumpf and prosecutors reached an agreement under which Schrumpf would enter an Alford plea, technically a plea of guilt, to one count of child sex abuse and two counts of second-degree assault in the two cases in which he allegedly was abusing the two sisters and the third girl.
Schrumpf, who still maintains he never touched any of the girls inappropriately, said in court Monday that he is seeking counseling for his addiction to child pornography.
Parents: Three girls suffering
All three girls were in the courtroom Monday to address Baldwin and to urge him to give Schrumpf the maximum sentence that Schrumpf, prosecutors and the judge had agree to previously.
As she came in, the youngest of the three cried and turned away, then left the courtroom, returning later while her mother read a statement her daughter had written.
The state was asking that Schrumpf be sentenced to 25 years, with all but six years suspended. He betrayed the trust the community put in him, as well as the trust the girls' families put in him, Tobin said during the sentencing hearing.
"He took advantage of the situation of a vulnerable child and used these children for his own sexual purpose," the prosecutor said. "I hate to use the word revolting, but it's the only thing I can think of at this moment."
The girls told Baldwin of the impact the abuse has had on them. The oldest girl said she became furious with her family, fought with her sister, threatened suicide and started doing drugs.
"I think this started tearing my family apart," the oldest girl said. "I'd like him to be locked away for as long as possible and as far away from me as possible."
Her mother said her older daughter would have emotional outbursts of screaming, crying and guttural noises, and she's suicidal because of "how bad he hurt her."