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Santa Barbara Court Denies Convicted Sex Offender’s Request for Spousal Support

After a one-week trial, a Santa Barbara County Superior Court judge denied a convicted sex offender’s request for $26,000 per month in spousal support. 

On Friday, Judge Colleen Sterne denied the request made by Genise Gomez, formerly known as Genise Schu, who admitted to sexual misconduct with her son’s teenage friend and has since served her prison sentence and petitioned the court for spousal support.

Gomez was sentenced to six years in prison after her 2010 conviction on seven felony counts of unlawful intercourse with a minor under 16 years of age, and three felony counts of oral copulation with a minor under 18 years of age.

The victim was friends with Schu’s children and regularly slept over at the Schu residence according to authorities. Schu began having sex with the boy when he was 13, and the encounters continued over the next eight years, from 2001 to 2009.

Schu was paroled in April 2013, lives in Santa Barbara, and has changed her name to Genise Gomez.

She petitioned the court for a monthly alimony payment that would allow her a standard of living similar to her life before prison, according to Ralph Wegis, attorney for Schu’s former husband, Don Michael Schu.

Noozhawk previously reported that Gomez was asking for $7,000 per month in spousal support, but that amount rose based on her attorney’s arguments, Wegis said.

Gomez has already received a $1 million divorce settlement from Schu.

Gomez’s attorney, Bruce Glesby of Griffith & Thornburgh LLP, did not immediately respond when asked whether they plan to appeal the ruling.

Wegis said that Gomez and her attorney were in court on Friday for the ruling.

“Most central to our case and arguments was that she had been found by the judge to have abused to her children and her husband,” Wegis said.

“We would welcome an appeal because we believe the judge’s decision would be upheld... (The ruling) is a clear example of justice for her conduct.”

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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