Head in his hands, a 61-year-old city man sank lower in his chair as he listened to the registration requirements of sexual offenders in accordance with Megan's Law Wednesday afternoon in Lycoming County Court.
George W. McKay, of 723 High St., pleaded guilty in April to sending pictures of genitals in an instant message to an undercover officer posing as a 13-year-old girl.
McKay must register with the state police as a sexual offender for 10 years, but was not determined to be a sexually violent predator.
Additionally, Judge Marc F. Lovecchio sentenced McKay to one year of in-home detention, seven years of supervision under the county's intermediate punishment program and three years of probation.
Throughout the sentencing, McKay was visibly upset, and when given an opportunity to speak on his behalf, he broke down into tears while expressing his remorse for his actions.
"He has really beaten himself up over this offense," Jeffrey Rowe, McKay's public defender, said. "He has demonstrated almost absolute disgust over this action."
Rowe requested a probationary sentence in light of McKay's age and health-related issues, including degenerative arthritis and noted this was McKay's first offense of any type in his lifetime.
McKay's pastor, Rev. Maurice Frontz, asked Lovecchio for leniency so that McKay can continue to rebuild his life.
"I recognize the serious nature of what he has done," Frontz said. "(However) his resolution to be the man he truly is and wants to be is firm."
"This is a difficult case because it is indeed a serious offense. If in fact the undercover officer was a 13-year-old girl it would have had a lasting impact on her. Fortunately we don't have a victim," Lovecchio said while weighing the various factors.
"I don't want to send the wrong message to others, (but) I'm gonna go out on a limb. I'm not sure the penal system can do anything more to you than you've already done to yourself," he said, before handing down the in-home detention sentence.
In addition to the sentence imposed by Lovecchio, McKay must also forfeit the computer and webcam seized by the state Attorney General's office during its investigation.