Alleged Instagram predator given counseling before arrest

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TITTABAWASSEE TOWNSHIP (WJRT) (12/14/2017) - When authorities first became aware of Jason Schultz's alleged hijinks on Instagram, they believed it was isolated to a single victim.

Jason Schultz appears in court on Thursday.

Police say Schultz, 37, was accused by the mother of a 10-year-old Freeland girl of posing as a 12-year-old boy and enticing her to send a sexually explicit photo in a private message on Instagram last August.

The Tittabawassee Township Police Department and Saginaw County prosecutors didn't immediately arrest Schultz. Instead, he was allowed to attend counseling while the investigation continued.

"Initially we thought this was an isolated incident," said Tittabawassee Township Police Det. Brian Berg.

Police eventually arrested Schultz on Dec. 6 and charged him with accosting a minor for immoral purposes and using a computer to commit a crime. Since then, the number of possible victims has grown to possibly 50.

"We have discovered a number of potential further victims," Berg said. "Some of them even resulting from his medical profession."

Schultz is a medical student and has worked as a physician's assistant. Most of the alleged victims are children in the Freeland school district, but others are believed to be in the Swan Valley school district.

Prosecutors now plan to add a third, more serious criminal charge of child sexually abusive activity, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Schultz's attorney says he's frustrated over how the case has been handled.

"Now, where counseling was good before, we got to arrest him, we have to keep him in jail, we have to have these ridiculous bonds," Matt Reyes said.

A judge kept Schultz's bond at $250,000 cash during a hearing on Thursday.

"For a student who works part time, a $250,000 cash bond is the equivalent of no bond," Reyes said.

Prosecutor's also disclosed in court Thursday that Schultz has called the alleged victim's mother. Judge Terry Clark added her name to Schultz's no-contact list.

Reyes is also upset that there is no proof there are other victims.

Berg said he's still conducting interviews with some of the victims, who could number up to 50.

"I'm getting calls and emails daily from potential victims on this -- potential victims going back to 2015," he said. "So this is very serious."

Schultz's preliminary hearing is scheduled for next week, when prosecutors may add the new charges.

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