Warren County camp counselor pleads guilty to sexually abusing young campers
May 06, 2019 07:13 PM
QUEENSBURY - Dylan Stolz had only two words as he walked out of the county courthouse Monday.
"I'm innocent," Stolz said, just minutes after pleading guilty to sexually abusing children at Brant Lake Camp where he was a counselor and supervisor for 33 years.
Judge Kelly McKeighan allowed still photos to be taken inside the courtroom - but no video as Stolz pleaded guilty to abusing seven children, ages 8 through 11 at the exclusive camp which costs $14,000 for parents to send kids there for seven weeks.
Stolz was arrested after a 9-year-old from the Bronx wrote home that Stolz touched his penis. Then more boys came forward.
Stolz entered what's called an "Alford Plea", which means he doesn't admit to the charges, but rather that he acknowledges there's enough evidence which could lead to a conviction.
Several dozen prospective jurors were waiting in another courtroom for Stolz's trial to begin, as the 52-year-old fourth grade teacher decided to plead and get four-and-a-half years in prison followed by 10 years of post-release supervision.
"The case has always been about these children and trying to get justice for them," said Warren County District Attorney Jason Carusone. "So reaching an agreement that involved almost 15 years of a combination of incarceration and supervision with a sex offender registration, and orders of protection was very meaningful."
Stolz faced a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison if convicted of the top counts. However, the plea spares his young victims from testifying.
"And I'm very happy for them. They were strong enough to do it, but I'm glad they didn't have to," said Carusone.
The mother of one of the boys told NewsChannel 13 news partner, The Post Star, "justice was served" with the convictions and sentence.
"We are glad that the boys can put this behind them," she told the newspaper.
NewsChannel 13 contacted Hewlett-Woodmere School District on Long Island to find out Stolz's employment status following his guilty plea, but the district did not return phone calls Monday afternoon.
Stolz will be sentenced June 21.
His attorney, James Knox, declined to comment Monday, but said earlier that Stolz was an innocent man who was "attacked" by "elite families who had power and influence to set the wheels in motion."
As part of the plea, Stolz waives his right to appeal.
Updated: May 06, 2019 07:13 PM
Created: May 06, 2019 05:51 PM
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