Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Exotic dancer evades jail for brawl causing head injury

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AN onstage brawl between two exotic dancers in Winnipeg left one nursing a serious head injury and the other facing criminal charges.

Sabrina Schmaltz, 32, was convicted of assault with a weapon earlier this year. She had just finished her routine at a Winnipeg strip club when she smashed another woman in the head with an eight-inch stiletto heel.

The victim -- who was the next dancer on the docket that night -- needed nine staples to close wounds to her head and sustained a concussion in the June 2012 incident.

Schmaltz returned to court on Wednesday, where she was given a two-year suspended sentence with probation. The Crown had been seeking up to 90 days in jail, while Schmaltz asked for a discharge which would spare her a criminal record and allow her to pursue her dream of becoming an early childhood educator.

"I can only assume for the people in the audience watching this, it would have been a frightening incident," said provincial court Judge Anne Krahn.

Court heard there was "bad blood" between the two women that boiled over that night. As Schmaltz left the stage, she turned to the victim and said 'Want to end this s--t?" The victim responded by calling her a "cracked-out whore and deadbeat mom."

Schmaltz flew into a rage, grabbing her shoe that weighed four pounds and hitting the victim several times, chasing her into the back and eventually out to the parking lot.

"I should have just kept my hands and feet to myself," Schmaltz told court at her sentencing hearing.

"I'm extremely ashamed at what I've done. I should have just walked away."

Defence lawyer Aaron Seib said his client comes from a difficult background, filled with abuse and addiction from which she continues to struggle and seek help for. On the night in question, Schmaltz could no longer take the abuse being dished out by the victim and other dancers.

"Being a dancer was never something I aspired to do. Unfortunately I ran into a world I really didn't belong in," she told court. "In that world, a lot of girls don't get along and I did let them get under my skin."

As part of her sentence, Schmaltz must now write a letter of apology to the victim.

www.mikeoncrime.com

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 15, 2014 A5

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