Warning: There is graphic language and description in the following article.
A man is in Chester County Prison after police and detectives say he sexually assaulted and took pornographic pictures of a 14-year-old minor who was a family friend.
Donald Richard Schnovel, of Schuylkill Township, was arraigned Friday afternoon, days after his 79th birthday, by District Judge Theodore Michaels and bail was set at half a million dollars cash. Schnovel remains in Chester County Prison.
He is charged with two felony counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with someone under 16, two counts of unlawful sexual contact with a minor, aggravated indecent assault of someone under 16, four felony counts related to child pornography and two felony counts of endangering the welfare of children along with misdemeanor charges.
On Nov. 21, a corporal from Phoenixville Police Department interviewed a 14-year-old girl who said Schnovel sexually assaulted her, according to the criminal complaint. During the summer, the girl alleges that family friend Schnovel drove her to the parking lot of Phoenixville Hospital at 140 Nutt Road in his red Ford Mustang convertible. Schnovel had the girl touch him and perform oral sex on him, according to the criminal complaint, and he also touched her breasts and took photos of her while she was naked.
The minor told police that this happened on multiple occasions in multiple places, always in Schnovel’s red Mustang.
Along with Chester County Detectives, the corporal went to Schnovel’s residence in the 1000 block of Rutledge Avenue later in the day on Nov. 21 to serve a search warrant. There, they reported finding the red convertible, noting that it had furry, tan seat covers. A Samsung cell phone was seized and when it was examined, detectives found three images.
One showed the girl’s genitals, another the girl’s buttocks and the third depicted Schnovel in the front seat of a car. Detectives noticed that the pictures were taken within seconds of each other. The photos showed seat covers like the ones found in Schnovel’s convertible, according to police.
When police showed the girl the photos on Dec. 1, she identified them and said they’d been taken when she was with Schnovel in the car.
Detectives and the corporal interviewed Schnovel, who allegedly admitted that he had kissed the victim on the mouth and penetrated her genitals with his right middle finger. He said he asked the victim to perform oral sex on him for $5, and said she did perform oral sex on him, although he was not sure when that occurred, court papers state. He thought that incident may have happened when he took the victim to Dorney Park during the summer, according to the criminal complaint.
Schnovel also allegedly admitted to taking the pornographic photos found on his phone.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Feb. 23 in district court in Phoenixville.