Friday, October 17, 2008

John M. Levernier - Another Whining Pedophile

A Tamaqua man serving a 30-year federal prison sentence for taking pornographic photos of a young girl was sentenced Thursday to three to 5 1/2 more years in state prison for molesting the same child.

John M. Levernier, 31, earlier admitted molesting the girl, who was 6 and 7 at the time, from April 1, 2006, to March 21, 2007, at two Lower Towamensing Township locations.

Carbon County Judge David W. Addy sentenced Levernier on charges of statutory sexual assault, indecent assault and endangering the welfare of a child. Addy gave Levernier credit for 1 1/2 years he served since his April 1, 2007, arrest.

It actually was the second time Addy sentenced Levernier. He levied the same punishment in July, but incorrectly believed Levernier had started serving his federal sentence, which actually began Oct. 9. The earlier sentence would not have credited Levernier for the 72 days he served before starting the federal sentence.

The sentence was part of a plea bargain. Addy at the earlier sentencing rejected defense attorney Andrew Zelonis's plea to have the state term run concurrent with the federal term.

Levernier agreed Thursday to incorporate all testimony from the earlier hearing, meaning none of the evidence was repeated in court, nor were Addy's comments calling Levernier a ''sick man'' whose crimes were ''heinous.''

Levernier's only words in court Thursday were to tell Addy, ''I'm still regretful for what I've done.'' Afterward, using an expletive, he declined comment.

The investigation started last year after the victim's mother photographed items she planned to sell on the Internet auction site eBay, uploaded them to a computer and saw images of her daughter in lingerie, naked and using an adult sex toy, according to court papers.

After charges were filed, Assistant District Attorney Joseph Matika referred the part of the case dealing with child pornography to federal prosecutors because federal sentencing guidelines are stricter. Levernier would have faced only six months in prison on each child pornography-related offense in county court.

Levernier was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of sexual exploitation of minors, receiving child pornography and possession of child pornography. He pleaded guilty to production of child pornography in November, admitting he took sexually explicit pictures of the girl at least three times from May 2006 to February 2007.

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