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Suspect Wanted For Allegedly Soliciting Sex From Sonora High Students

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Sonora, CA – A man suspected of soliciting sex from Sonora High School (SHS) students is being sought by Tuolumne Sheriff’s officials, who are turning to the public for help in catching him.

The man in the image box picture is 27-year-old Dominic Schmitz. He is wanted for several incidents where he allegedly contacted minors with sexual intent. The first one happened last Saturday morning (9/23) at a school breakfast fundraiser event at Applebee’s restaurant in Sonora, where he approached some students. Schmitz even gave one minor a business card with “sexually suggestive language written on it,” according to investigators. School staff reported it to the Sonora Police Department.

Detectives have also learned of two additional incidents where Schmitz contacted minors. As students were participating in homecoming decoration preparations on Monday (9/25) along Washington Street in downtown Sonora, he reportedly contacted students.

“At this point in our investigation, Schmitz’s behavior and actions lead us to believe he is actively targeting minors with the intent to solicit sex,” advised sheriff’s officials, adding, “The Sheriff’s Office wants Schmitz on the charges of soliciting a minor for sex and annoying or molesting a minor.”

SHS District Superintendent Ed Pelfrey on Tuesday (9/26) sent out a letter to parents and students warning them of the possible threat. He told students, “For safety reasons, we advise students heading downtown to pair up. Should anyone experience or observe suspicious activity, please promptly contact the Sonora Police Department.” The entire letter is at the bottom of this page.

Investigators describe Schmitz as a white male, 27 years old, with brown hair, bearded, blue eyes, about 6’ tall, and 150 pounds. He was last seen wearing a white or light gray hooded sweatshirt, dark-colored pants, and dark-colored shoes, as seen in this picture.

Security camera footage of Dominic Schmitz
TCSO photo

Regarding the current investigation, sheriff’s officials report that all local and surrounding agencies are working together to locate and arrest Schmitz. Additionally, several victims and witnesses have been interviewed, and surveillance video from security cameras has been obtained. The public is asked to immediately call the TCSO at 209-533-5815 if anyone sees Schmitz or knows of his whereabouts.

Of note, Sheriff’s officials relayed that yesterday (9-28), deputies arrested 47-year-old Davin Huhtala for sexual battery after responding to a report of a sexual assault in downtown Sonora. They say, “Huhtala’s arrest is not related to Schmitz in any way.”

 

SHS letter:

Dear Sonora UHSD Community,

We wish to inform students, parents, and staff about two recent incidents involving a man in his 20s approaching our students. The first occurrence was at the Applebee’s Associate Students Fundraiser Breakfast Saturday and the second, downtown, during our homecoming decoration preparations on Monday.

Please note that the Sonora Police Department has been alerted and has engaged with the individual on both occasions. The Sonora Police Department has informed us that no known crimes have been committed during either incident.

For safety reasons, we advise students heading downtown to pair up. Should anyone experience or observe suspicious activity, please promptly contact the Sonora Police Department at (209) 532-8141.

Student safety is our top priority.

Sincerely,

Ed Pelfrey

Superintendent

Sonora Union High School District

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