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Lehighton man gets up to 20 years in state prison term for sexual assaults

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Published January 20. 2018 06:33AM

A Lehighton man who admitted to sexually assaulting a woman and a young girl was sentenced Friday to a long state prison term in Carbon County court.

Judge Steven R. Serfass sentenced Jonathan Spyros Hortis, 28, to serve a total of 8 to 20 years in a state correctional institution on charges of sexual assault, corruption of a minor of a sexual nature, and two counts of indecent assault. He previously pleaded guilty to the charges.

Before imposing the long term, Serfass said the case was “very troubling” with a “disturbing set of facts.” Serfass said the little girl that was victimized continues to have many problems. He noted from the presentence investigation report a statement by investigating trooper Joseph Campbell that he “ruined this young girl’s life.” Serfass said the report notes the girl is always sick, depressed and has problems being around other people.

Serfass added, “She will have to deal with this the rest of her life because of what you did.”

Hortis was originally charged with 23 counts by Campbell, of the Lehighton barracks.

According to an affidavit filed by trooper Campbell:

On Aug. 4, 2015, the victims went to the Lehighton barracks to report the incident.

The first incident occurred around the time when the girl was between the ages of 3 and 4 years old and was living in a Lehighton apartment.

The most recent occurrence of abuse was between July 7-12, 2014.

That crime occurred in Weissport, as well as an apartment within Lehighton, several years before the report of the next incident, according to police documents. In that incident, an adult female was sexually assaulted on July 19, 2014, according to that affidavit. The woman told police Hortis was lying on her bed. She said she did not know how Hortis got into her home, because she thought that she had locked all of the doors. When she walked into her room, he demanded that he wanted to have sex with her, and the victim said no.

Hortis then started to get angry, and he poured the victim’s beer on the back of her head and pinned the victim’s wrist down to the bed, and he held her down against her will, according to police.

Hortis then became increasingly physical and more violent, and started punching the victim with hands and fists. The victim had bruises to her wrists and on her forehead, as well as near her ears as a result.

Hortis also broke a mirror within her bedroom during the assault.

The victim said that on Aug. 4, Hortis had approached her on two occasions, once in Weissport, and another in Lehighton, while she was walking with two children. Hortis threatened the victim, “If you go to the cops I will gut all three of you like fish!”

The victim said Hortis had a knife when he made the threats on Bankway Street in Lehighton.

Defense Attorney Thomas P. Sundmaker said his client agrees with what the police report states. He said Hortis has had struggles with alcohol and drug addiction and a disjointed childhood. He also took exception to a report in the adult probation officer’s presentence report stating Hortis has shown remorse for what he did.

However, in stating his reasons for the sentence he imposed, Serfass said Hortis has not shown remorse.

Serfass imposed the following prison terms on the charges: sexual assault, 60 to 120 months; corruption, 12 to 48 months; indecent assault, 12 to 36, second indecent assault, 12 to 36 months, with all terms running consecutively.

Serfass also ordered Hortis to submit to a sexual offenders evaluation, supply a DNA sample, get a drug and alcohol evaluation and follow any recommendations for treatment, have no contact with the victims, have no unsupervised contact with any minors, and pay court costs of about $1,000.

The charges fall under Megan’s Law, and Hortis must register for the rest of his life as a sexual offender.

He was given credit for 1,039 days spent in prison to date on the charges.


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