A Virginia teacher and coach who engaged in an online relationship and eventually traveled to the area to meet with a South Williamsport underage girl was sentenced Wednesday in Lycoming County court to time already served in prison along with six years of supervised probation in his hometown of Henrico County, Va., near Richmond.
Ty M. Levy, 49, was found guilty on several counts of sexual offenses after a non-jury trial June 25 by Judge Dudley N. Anderson. He was convicted of unlawful contact with a minor, corruption of a minor and obscene and other sexual materials, according to court records.
Levy, who was a fifth-grade teacher and soccer coach, arranged online Skype chats with the girl and encouraged her to expose herself and perform sex acts while he did the same. He also sent the girl links to pornographic websites, prosecutors said.
The online relationship began in September 2009 when the two shared instant messages with each other, according to police. Levy initially lied about his age, telling the girl he was in his 20s, investigators said. He later told the girl he was in his 30s.
During a Christmas break that same year, Levy arranged a meeting with the minor at a local restaurant. The encounter ended when the girl's father called her on her cellphone to find out where she was.
Levy was joined in the courtroom by his wife and mother, who both spoke on his behalf. Anderson also said he received numerous letters that portrayed Levy, who was visibly upset and sobbing during the proceeding, in a positive light.
"He was always an involved husband and family man," said Levy's wife, Ruth. "He made a very poor decision and owned up to it."
"I raised a good man with good values," said his mother, Phyllis.
She said his decision will haunt him the rest of his life.
Assistant District Attorney Aaron S. Biichle said Levy deserved a state prison sentence for his crimes.
"He groomed a child to be a sexual object for him," Biichle said. "It went beyond Internet contact. He went to her town with the intent of meeting her, and they kissed."
Levy asked the girl, her family and society to forgive him.
"I really am sorry. I'm the one who helps people all the time. I should help, not hurt," he said. "It really does sicken me what's happened. There was no excuse for what I did. This is the saddest part of my life. It was an aberration. It doesn't reflect who I really am."
Anderson agreed with Levy's attorney, Kyle Rude, who asked that a sentence include time served with a period of supervision in Virginia.
The judge said standard sentencing guidelines would put Levy in jail for the amount of time he already has done.
"This is a man who has successes in life - was revered - and burned. It really has destroyed his life," Anderson said, noting Levy must register on the Megan's Law sex offenders list for the next 10 years.
Levy is expected to be released from the Lycoming County Prison, where he has been incarcerated since June 23, 2011, in about 13 days.
Anderson also sentenced Levy to perform 200 hours of community service in Henrico County, Va.
Lycoming County District Attorney Eric R. Linhardt said late Wednesday afternoon that his office is filing a motion for reconsideration with Anderson regarding the sentence.