By Marcia Moore
The Daily Item
MIDDLEBURG — A 22-year-old Beaver Springs man who pleaded guilty to having sex with a minor several years ago will serve twice as much prison time as the girl’s mother who admitted getting her hooked on drugs.
Robert T. Hannick received a four- to eight-year sentence in state prison Monday in exchange for a guilty plea to felony aggravated indecent assault in Snyder County Court. He also will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
“I was young and dumb,” Hannick said, expressing remorse and apologizing to the victim. “I feel horrible about what she’s gone through. I hope I can be forgiven for it.”
Public defender Patrick Johnson asked for leniency as he decried the harsh penalty.
“There are times in this job when you feel justice isn’t served,” he said. “Drug addiction put him in a bad situation. The person that precipitated this, in my view, ended with a one-year sentence.”
He told the court that Hannick’s drug use was aided by Brandi Lynn Baumgardner, 39, the Beaver Springs mother who in March received a state prison sentence of one to four years for endangering the welfare of a child by admittedly helping get her young daughter addicted to drugs.
Charges against Baumgardner and Hannick were filed last summer after the girl, who is now 17, came forward to authorities while receiving counseling.
Johnson said he wasn’t blaming anyone else for Hannick’s crime, but was disappointed that he’ll spend more time behind bars than Baumgardner.
“From a personal standpoint it upsets me that the person I feel is the real problem will be back on the street,” he said.
District Attorney Michael Piecuch said the sentences were appropriate in both cases, though he did ask the court to impose a maximum penalty of 10 years against Hannick.
“Brandi Baumgardner set the proverbial fire in her own home, but (Hannick) poured kerosene all over it,” Piecuch said.
Outside the courtroom he added, “Sex offenses by their nature require harsher penalties. That’s not to say (Baumgardner) is getting away with anything. She’s going to state prison as well.”
Baumgardner is facing additional prison time for allegedly getting caught under the influence of drugs while being held in Snyder County Prison in February. She is one of several female prisoners charged with possession of contraband by an inmate.