Ex marine caught performing sex act in car claims he can’t do community service

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An ex-marine caught masturbating in his car says he can't do community service – because it would prevent him starting a new job with the US military.

Anthony Schooler claimed he chose to park in a "secluded street" in Liverpool city centre in the middle of the afternoon.

But he was confronted by an off-duty police officer, whose wife had seen Schooler's filthy behaviour from their apartment window.

The officer said he tried to stop Schooler – who served in the Royal Marines for two years – but he drove his vehicle at him.

The 26-year-old stopped a short distance away and later admitted outraging public decency and obstructing a police officer.

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Liverpool Magistrates' Court heard Schooler parked in residential Henry Street – just a few minutes' walk away from his home in Manesty's Lane – at 3.43pm, on Saturday, March 7 this year.

The officer's wife thought she could see a man "playing with himself" and when her husband challenged Schooler, he "quickly pulled his trousers up".

He rolled his window down slightly, but when told that he had been seen, repeatedly said "no", before winding the window back up and starting the engine.

The officer stood in front of the vehicle, but said "the car was driven at him", and he had to move to avoid being hit.

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Thomas Hanlon, prosecuting, said outraging public decency was not a sexual offence and Schooler wouldn't be required to sign on the Sex Offenders Register.

He has three previous convictions for five offences, including drink driving and two cases of driving while disqualified in 2017.

At a previous hearing, Joe Ely, defending, told the court that his "aroused" client decided to go to a street he thought was "secluded".

He said: "He was actively trying to avoid a member of the public witnessing what was taking place."

Today he said: "Mr Schooler feels extremely embarrassed and obviously ashamed of what was a very private matter being exposed to a member of the public, but also recognises the shame that he's brought upon his family as a result of the situation that he finds himself in.

"It was reported in the press, which caused a considerable amount of distress and anxiety both for Mr Schooler and his family.

"While that's not a punishment, he's been punished to the extent it's exposed him to the public."

Mr Ely said his client also recognised it would have been "distressful" for the officer and his wife.

He said Schooler was an "industrious" man, who served his country, before gaining qualifications in the HGV industry.

Mr Ely said: "He's about to embark upon employment for the US military in Germany."

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He said it was expected his client would receive this job offer within the next two weeks and relocate to Germany, but the court's sentence could impact on that.

District Judge Healey said he was considering unpaid work because the job had not yet been confirmed, but Mr Ely said Schooler was at the "point of negotiation".

He said unpaid work would make it "almost impossible" for him to take the job, because he would have to remain in the UK, or come back to complete it, adding that unpaid work was currently suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The judge asked whether the US military was aware of the convictions and said: "I'm wondering whether that would have an impact."

Mr Ely said: "It hasn't at this point become necessary for Mr Schooler to identify that he's the subject of these proceedings.

  • Military
  • Family
  • Crime

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