Man gets 6 years in prison
Another man goes to trial next month on charges involving the same female.
By PETER H. MILLIKEN
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Paul J. Snyder was sentenced to six years in prison for having sexual relations with an underage girl -- twice the three-year term the prosecution recommended.
On Friday, Judge Maureen A. Sweeney of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court imposed maximum consecutive 18-month sentences on each of the four counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor to which Snyder had pleaded guilty Oct. 11. She also imposed the maximum fine -- 20,000 on all counts combined.
Deputy sheriffs immediately handcuffed Snyder, 51, of Jamison Place, Canfield, and took him to the county jail, from which the judge said he'd be transferred to prison. Snyder, who had been free on 30,000 bond before sentencing, will be eligible for judicial release in five years, Dawn Krueger, assistant county prosecutor, said after sentencing.
In a plea agreement, the prosecution allowed Snyder to plead guilty to the four counts, with two other counts of the same offense being dropped. In a written sentence recommendation, Krueger asked that Snyder receive a three-year prison term and said she didn't object to judicial release (shock probation) eligibility for Snyder after 30 days.
"This defendant wasn't given any special treatment," Krueger said in court after the judge imposed sentence. "It's nothing that's not commensurate with other cases that I've recommended the same amount of time on," she said of her recommendation after court. "This isn't a rape case," she added.
Problems for prosecution
Krueger said going to trial would have required the victim to travel here from Florida and be cross-examined on the witness stand. The victim gave conflicting statements concerning her encounters with Snyder, Krueger said. "It was a real hurdle for us," Krueger said of the conflicting statements.
Snyder, a real estate salesman, was charged with engaging in sexual conduct with the Austintown girl between July 11, 2001, and Dec. 31, 2004, when she was between ages 13 and 15. The girl, who is now 18 and lives with her father in Florida, told authorities her sexual encounters with Snyder occurred in various Mahoning Valley houses, which were listed for sale.
In a victim impact statement, the girl's father said he and his daughter have required counseling since the girl's relationship with Snyder, that his daughter has been on various medications to counter depression, anxiety and sleeping disorders, and that she has been institutionalized because she has threatened suicide.
"He robbed her of her childhood," the girl's father said of Snyder. "I will not accept 30 days or even a three-year sentence," the girl's father told the judge before she pronounced sentence.
"I'm sorry for all the trouble I've caused," Snyder told the judge before she sentenced him. Defense Atty. J. Gerald Ingram declined to comment after the sentencing hearing.
In a separate case, Gerald E. Reedy, 57, of Poland, is to go on trial Feb. 28 in Judge Sweeney's court on six counts of sexual battery, which allege he had sexual contact with the same girl in 2005, while she was a 16- and-17-year-old student and he was a teacher at Austintown Fitch High School.
Reedy had been with the school district 33 years. He retired in March 2006.