City man gets ‘virtual life sentence’ for raping 14-year-old
A 30-year-old Williamsport man could serve up to 73 years in state prison after sentencing Tuesday, for the sexual assault of a 14-year-old in 2018 while on parole for a similar conviction — a “virtual life sentence,” said attorneys.
Paul Daniel Lowmiller was sentenced to 42 to 73 years in state prison for statutory sexual assault, indecent sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault, and other charges related to corruption of minors.
Having a history of sexual offense charges as a minor, Lowmiller continued his victimizing into his adult life and was charged for statutory sexual assault In July 2009 and served two years in prison.
While serving his 8 years of parole, he lured the underage victim via Facebook to a retail store on the Golden Strip on Feb. 26, 2018. The two walked to the area of Loyalsock Township Volunteer Fire Company where Lowmiller engaged in sexual acts with the victim.
At trial, Lowmiller claimed he thought the victim was 18 years old, however the jury found him guilty on all charges.
President Judge Nancy Butts said she was required by state statute to sentence Lowmiller to a minimum of 25 years for the lead charge — statutory sexual assault, and would not allow him to serve the other charges concurrently.
“We are what we repeatedly do and this is the type of crime he has continued to commit,” she said. “He doesn’t seem to be willing to adjust his behavior — no matter what the court does.”
Sentencing Lowmiller with anything less than a minimum of 43 years would not communicate the seriousness of the crimes, said Butts.
A part of that state sentence is three to eight years for violating his parole.
Additionally, he is required to attend any sexual predator or drug and alcohol therapies the prison provides.
“I just look forward to getting help,” Lowmiller said in his only statement to the court.
He has two children, one to a victim and another to his ex-wife.
Helen Stolinas, his defense attorney, advocated for the minimum of 25 years in state prison.
“When the court would release him he’d be 55 years old and some of the risk factors would be less prevalent,” she said before the final sentencing. Consecutive sentences “would nearly be a life sentence. We don’t believe the convictions rise to that level.”
In citing the pre-sentencing report, Assistant District Attorney Michael Sullivan said Lowmiller’s chance of recidivism was 90 percent.
“The defendant never accepted responsibility,” he said.
Additionally, while in Lycoming County prison since his arrest, Lowmiller has failed to follow routine, proceeded in unauthorized use of telephones, made false statements and has damaged property, among other incidents.
A guardian of the victim said that the individual has been in counseling for the entire two years since the incident and advocated for the 42 to 73 years in prison for Lowmiller.
The victim “will have a life-sentence even after counseling,” the guardian said, noting the continued torment that person is under.