A prominent Island insurance executive and well-known Chilmark resident was arrested and charged this week with child molestation, stemming from incidents in West Tisbury and Chilmark in which he allegedly exposed himself to a child.
Steve Schwab, 64, was arrested by Chilmark police on Wednesday at the home where he was living in Vineyard Haven, and later arraigned in Edgartown district court on two counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14, and one count of open and gross lewdness. In addition to alleged incidents in Chilmark, there were an “undetermined amount of incidents” that took place in West Tisbury, Chilmark police said in a press release.
Mr. Schwab was released Thursday on $5,000 bail with several conditions imposed by clerk magistrate Liza Williamson, including that he surrender his passport, stay away from children under 16, stay away from all elementary schools and the regional high school, surrender firearms and surrender his computer. Police records filed in district court show that Mr. Schwab admitted he had accessed child pornography sites on the Internet, and that he admitted that he had a problem and had sought treatment for it. The alleged incidents that led to his arrest included exposing himself on repeated occasions to a child who was known to him, police records show.
Mr. Schwab is vice president of Martha’s Vineyard Insurance Co. and an active participant in many community organizations. A longtime resident of Chilmark and former chairman of the housing committee in that town, he was living in Vineyard Haven at the time of his arrest. Among other things he had volunteered as a mentor for students in the rocketry club, an enrichment program at the Edgartown School.
School principal John Stevens notified parents and teachers in an e-mail late this week of the situation. “This person is no longer associated with the school and not permitted on any school campus on the Island,” Mr. Stevens wrote in the e-mail. This was April vacation week in Island public schools. Mr. Stevens also said that to his knowledge no inappropriate behavior had taken place at the school.
The investigation and arrest involved Chilmark, West Tisbury, Tisbury and Massachusetts state police and the Massachusetts Division of Children’s and Family, and Children’s Cove Child Advocacy Center in Hyannis.