Former dentist Werner Otto Schwarz jailed for 16 years for sexually abusing patients in Armidale

Jailed: Werner Otto Schwarz was jailed on Friday for a maximum of 16 years for sexually abusing four boys in the 1980s in Armidale. Photo: Supplied
Jailed: Werner Otto Schwarz was jailed on Friday for a maximum of 16 years for sexually abusing four boys in the 1980s in Armidale. Photo: Supplied

A RETIRED Armidale dentist who hypnotised young patients before sexually abusing them has been jailed for a maximum of 16 years.

Werner Otto Schwarz will likely die in jail after he was jailed in a Sydney court on Friday for at least eight years for 17 sex offences against young boys in the 1980s.

The offences occurred between 1981 and 1984 in Armidale against four boys under 16, the young just nine years old.

Schwarz appeared in the Downing Centre District Court as Judge Helen Syme detailed Schwarz’ planning in the offending which she said “was involved and it was substantial and well organised”.

“The offender targeted children who were his dental patients, and were in his surgery as a result of the parents seeking to provide for their children’s oral health,” she said. 

The offender targeted children who were his dental patients, and were in his surgery as a result of the parents seeking to provide for their children’s oral health.

Judge Helen Syme

“Once he ascertained who was likely to respond to his hypnosis techniques, he targeted those children, and proceeded to recommend hypnosis sessions, during which systematic and horrific sexual abuse was perpetrated.”

In sentencing, Judge Syme noted that Schwarz had “a thriving practice in dentistry and an after hours practice in hypnosis therapy in Armidale, Walcha and Uralla”, and was ”also an active community member participating in sport and coaching in various sporting endeavours”.

The court heard the parents of the victim urged their children to undergo hypnosis, “believing it would be beneficial” to their dental or other childhood issues.

“In many respects his trusted position in the community, and his reputation as an effective hypnotherapist were the tools which allowed these offences to occur so frequently, and largely without complaint,” Judge Syme said in sentencing. 

“Most of the witnesses who have been sexually abused by him were too intimidated by his status to complain.

“The combination of hypnosis with the sexual abuse added to the trauma experienced. Hypnosis in some form was a feature of each and every episode of sexual abuse.”

Schwarz will be aged 90 when he is first eligible for parole in October, 2025.