A 29-year old Williamsport man accused of sexually assaulting a minor victim recently asked the court to enforce a plea agreement for a guilty plea he previously filed to have withdrawn.
Paul Daniel Lowmiller allegedly received oral sex from a girl under the age of 14 on or about February 26, 2018, court records state.
The victim said she was not harmed or threatened in any way, court records show. Lowmiller was not charged with any crimes of force or compulsion.
He told the court he believed her to be 17.
Lowmiller was arrested on March 2, 2018, and charged with a variety of felonies related to the alleged incident.
If Lowmiller were to be convicted on all counts, each count carries a 25-year mandatory minimum sentence.
If the sentences were ordered to be served consecutively, Lowmiller could face up to 150 years in prison - effectively a life sentence.
During a hearing on April 30, 2018, the Lycoming County District Attorney's office offered Lowmiller a plea deal that would've set his sentence at 7.5 to 18 years.
Attorney Susan Saba Roinick, Lowmiller's court-appointed counsel at that time, did not attend that hearing, court records show.
Lowmiller told the court he "felt pressured" but pleaded guilty to one count of first degree felony involuntary deviant sexual intercourse person less than 16 years old, on May 4, 2018. The other charges against him were dismissed.
Lowmiller reportedly entered his plea before he had access to any of the evidence against him or the contents of his cell phone, which he believed contained exculpatory evidence.
By May 30, 2018, he told his attorney that he wanted access to the evidence to decide whether or not to withdraw his guilty plea.
Lowmiller successfully withdrew his guilty plea on March 15, 2019. Judge Marc F. Lovecchio granted his request.
Ultimately, Lowmiller was not able to retrieve any exculpatory evidence from his cell phone, Judge Marc F. Lovecchio wrote.
During a pretrial conference on September 10, 2019, District Attorney Kenneth Osokow again offered Lowmiller the 7.5 to 18 year plea deal.
But Lowmiller's attorney, Helen Stolinas, of Mazza Law Group - one of three court-appointed attorneys assigned to represent him over an 18-month period - reportedly failed to respond to the DA's offer in a timely fashion.
By September 25, 2019, the DA's office revoked the offer.
"Not having heard from you, we are revoking our offer," District Attorney Osokow wrote. "Your client, in our opinion, has given the run around to our victim."
In a motion filed to enforce the agreement on October 1, 2019, Attorney Stolinas told the court that she didn't know she had to respond so quickly.
"No deadline was given for response to the offer," Attorney Stolinas wrote. "Counsel did not have an opportunity to immediately discuss the matter with her client due to scheduling conflicts and emergency matters which arose after the pretrial conference."
As of Monday, October 1, 2019, a decision by the court whether or not to enforce the terms of Lowmiller's prior plea agreement was still pending.