Common Pleas Judge Michael E. Bortner on Tuesday sentenced Robert Snedeker, 43, of York Township, to four to eight years in prison. He must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
When he finished hearing all of the testimony, Common Pleas Judge Michael E. Bortner went through the considerations that go into imposing a sentence: punishment, deterrence and rehabilitation.
Robert Snedeker had blamed his actions — sexually assaulting and impregnating a 16-year-old girl, who’s since given birth — on drinking and mental health issues. And, Bortner said, he has made inconsistent statements about his remorse.
“This is a horrific crime,” Bortner said on Tuesday. “We believe the actions of the defendant here — his behavior is deplorable,” he added.
Next, Bortner sentenced Snedeker, 43, of York Township, to serve four to eight years in prison for statutory sexual assault and corruption of minors. He must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life and pay $23,643.85 in restitution.
On Feb. 8, 2017, the Pennsylvania State Police interviewed the teenager, who was 16 weeks pregnant. Snedeker, she told investigators, started to sexually assault her after she turned 15 in Hanover. He called it “our secret,” police said.
Snedeker admitted that he had unprotected sex with her 10 to 12 times, police said. He said he did not realize she was pregnant until he noticed a “small pouch on her stomach” — and that made him realize his actions were wrong.
Before the sentence was handed down, Snedeker apologized and said he’s ashamed. He said he’d been abusing alcohol and prescription medication.
“I am so sorry,” Snedeker said. “I am deeply, truly sorry.”
Ron Gross, Snedeker’s attorney, asked the judge to hand down a sentence that would’ve allowed his client to serve his time in York County Prison, noting that he’s been sober for one year and admitted what he’d done to police.
Gross called his client’s actions “unthinkable.”
“He is responsible. He’s paying the price for what he did,” said Gross, before three loved ones spoke on his client’s behalf. “He wants to show the court he’s not just these charges.”
Meanwhile, Senior Deputy Prosecutor Kara Bowser pushed for a sentence of 4 1/2 to nine years in prison.
Snedeker, she said, has demonstrated a “complete lack of remorse.” He groomed and manipulated the girl, whose life will never be the same, Bowser said.
Later, Bowser read a statement from the teen, who said she now has trouble trusting people and that the crime will continue to affect her in the future. The girl’s father and her stepmother also addressed the court, asking the judge to show mercy to their child — not to Snedeker.
“He is her demon,” the stepmother said, “and this is her hell.”