Lycoming County Judge Dudley N. Anderson Thursday vacated a sentence he handed down Oct. 10 that would have given an ex-teacher from Richmond, Va., credit for 16 months served in the Lycoming County Prison on child sex offenses of which he was found guilty earlier this year.
Ty M. Levy, 49, was charged and sentenced on unlawful contact with a minor, corruption of a minor and engaging in obscene acts on a computer for seeking out a 15-year-old South Williamsport girl online and encouraging her to perform sexual acts while he did the same.
The online relationship began in September 2009 when Levy sent an instant computer message to the girl and lied about his age, according to police. The two had regular online contact for months. Levy met up with the girl on his way through the area during the 2009 Christmas holiday at a local eatery before the girl's father realized she wasn't at home and went to retrieve her.
Lycoming County District Attorney Eric R. Linhardt requested Anderson reconsider his sentence that would have given Levy credit for time served in prison here while he waited for his trial. Levy was arrested in Virginia in late June, 2011. His sentence also included six years of supervised probation in Virginia.
Levy also must register as a sexual offender on the Megan's Law list.
In his motion for reconsideration, Linhardt said the judge's sentence depreciates the nature of the offenses and does not take aggravating circumstances into account.
The district attorney also said that the county sentence that Levy served did not include sexual offender counseling, which is offered in state institutions.
"You had the discretion to give him a six-year sentence and you didn't," Linhardt told Anderson in a hearing Thursday.
He argued that Levy's actions were repetitive and done on a regular basis with the girl and that Anderson could have used that to aggravate the sentence.
"Mr. Levy is a school teacher in Virginia, which makes it all the much worse," he said. "Your honor will have to decide: is 16 months enough for what went on? I just don't believe 16 months is nearly enough."
But Anderson asked if Linhardt's argument should instead be focused on the state Legislature, which adopts sentencing guidelines that judges follow. Anderson said he did sentence Levy on the higher end of the sentencing scale.
The judge said he took Levy's remorse and the fact that he did not deny the allegations into consideration in his original sentence.
"It was 16 months getting the man to trial, all of which he spent in jail," Anderson said. " ... He already spent such a long period of time given the nature of the charges."
Kyle Rude, Levy's attorney, told the judge he made the right decision the first time. At Levy's sentencing on Oct. 10, Rude argued that other defendants received lesser sentences for more serious charges.
The victim in the case and her family were present for the hearing.
"I was just really shocked with the sentence," the victim's father said. "This guy actually came to my town, meets my daughter and gets away with it."
Anderson told the father he should have taken computer access away from the girl after he realized what was going on. After being confronted by her parents, the girl and Levy continued communicating, the father said.
The judge scheduled Levy's resentencing for Nov. 27.