A district judge has sentenced a Bismarck man to probation for luring minors.
Cody Schatz, 23, pleaded guilty Wednesday to Class C felony luring minors by computer. South Central District Judge Bruce Haskell approved a plea agreement calling for Schatz to be sentenced to one year in prison, all but time served suspended, and three years of supervised probation.
Schatz corresponded with an online profile of a 15-year-old girl set up by an undercover officer for child luring investigations. Schatz arranged to meet the “girl” for sex and arrived at the meeting place with a condom and was arrested.
Burleigh County Assistant State’s Attorney Pam Nesvig said the case differed from more “typical” luring cases in that it did not seem that Schatz was seeking out underage people.
“This was more of a crime of opportunity,” defense attorney Amanda Harris said.
Instead, he began texting a number he found, without regard to whom the number belonged, then corresponded with the undercover officer, Nesvig said. She added that Schatz’s mental health and cognitive functioning problems, along with his lack of criminal history, made the plea agreement appropriate.
Harris explained that Schatz has “borderline intellectual functioning,” and an independent doctor who evaluated Schatz believed there may be issues in proving Schatz had criminal responsibility for his actions.
Harris said Schatz, who was in jail for 12 days prior to posting bond, may have trouble navigating the probation and sex offender registration systems. If Schatz successfully completes probation, the offense will be a misdemeanor on his record.