The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

March 6, 2013

Suspect admits he traded drugs for sex

By Marcia Moore
The Daily Item

— MIDDLEBURG - Robert T. Hannick Jr. avoided a trial in Snyder County Court on Tuesday and pleaded guilty to aggravated indecent assault of a 14-year-old girl he provided with drugs in exchange for sex.

Hannick, 22, of Beaver Springs, admitted the felony assault as his young victim, now 17, sat feet away in the courtroom.

A jury had been waiting in a nearby room and was dismissed by President Judge Michael H. Sholley after the plea was entered.

Hannick faces a minimum of four years in state prison and as many as 10 years when he’s sentenced in the spring.

Felony aggravated indecent assault is a Megan’s Law offense and will require Hannick to register as a sex offender for 10 years. An evaluation by the Pennsylvania Sexual Offender’s Assessment Board will determine whether Hannick is a sexually violent predator requiring a lifetime registration.

The victim’s mother, Brandi Lynn Baumgardner, 39, has pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of a child for admittedly getting her daughter hooked on drugs at the age of 12. A corruption of minors charge was dropped.

Baumgardner remains in Snyder County jail and is scheduled to be sentenced March 13 to a minimum six to 16 months.

Charges against Baumgardner and Hannick were filed last summer after the victim told counselors about the abuse while receiving treatment at a Montgomery residential treatment center.Hannick will remain free on $25,000 cash bail pending his sentencing.

Sholley denied District Attorney Michael Piecuch’s request to revoke bail after hearing from a county probation officer how well-behaved Hannick has been since his arrest. Hannick, who wears a GPS-monitored ankle bracelet, is employed, drug-free and meets regularly with probation officials, the judge was told.