Lycoming County District Attorney Eric R. Linhardt Wednesday asked the judge who sentenced a former Richmond, Va., elementary school teacher who was found guilty of sex crimes against a South Williamsport minor female to reconsider the sentence, claiming the judge's ruling didn't go far enough.
Lycoming County Judge Dudley N. Anderson found Ty M. Levy, 49, guilty of two counts of sexual abuse of children, three counts of unlawful contact with a minor, one count of obscene and other sexual materials and one count of corruption of minors after a non-jury trial on June 22.
Levy was arrested in Virgina by authorities on charges of conducting sexually explicit online chats with the girl. Police said the online contact, which lasted for several months, led to Levy coming to the area in order to meet up with her at a borough eatery.
Prosecutors said Levy encouraged the minor to perform sex acts online while he did the same.
In psychological evaluations performed on Levy while he was incarcerated in the Lycoming County Prison, Levy said he intended to have sex with the girl when they met in person. A psychologist also reported that Levy "lacked empathy for the victim and failed to appreciate the impact that his crimes had, not only to the victim, but on the defendant's own family members."
A different psychologist labeled Levy's actions as "predatory."
Townsend Velkolff, a Sexual Offenders Board examiner, said Levy "initiated contact with a 15-year-old adolescent female. He acknowledged that he was aware the victim was 15 years old, yet he continued to interact with her and cultivate a relationship with her."
Anderson sentenced Levy to what amounted to be time served - 16 months - while he waited to be sentenced.
The judge noted in his sentencing that, in addition to his prison time, Levy's punishment includes being registered on the Megan's Law sex offenders list, losing his career as a teacher and not being able to attend many of his children's events due to his criminal history.
The district attorney's office wanted Levy to serve a state prison sentence and contends that Anderson easily could have imposed more than six years in a state correctional institution.
In his motion for reconsideration, Linhardt said that "by imposing a time-served county sentence, the court failed to adequately consider the fact that the defendant is a sexual predator who engaged in repeated acts of sexual interaction with a 15-year-old victim over a period of months."
"...The sentence depreciates the seriousness of the offense, fails to adequately protect the public, or account for the impact that these crimes have had on the victim and the community and further fails to account for the rehabilitative needs of the defendant," the motion further states.
But Levy's attorney, Kyle Rude, said Anderson ruled appropriately. He said the district attorney's complaint should be with the state Legislature, not the judge.
"The judge followed the sentence guidelines issued by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court," Rude said. "He properly sentenced Mr. Levy, who had no sexual contact with the victim."
Rude said he presented Anderson with five or six different cases where a defendant served a similar or lesser sentence for similar charges.
Levy, who is eligible for release on Tuesday, could be "caught in limbo for weeks or months" and remain in prison until Anderson deals with the reconsideration motion, according to Rude.