A Pennsylvania man who claimed a 5-year-old girl begged him for a sex act has failed to convince a state appeals court his prison term is too long.
Instead, the Superior Court panel found the 15- to 30-year jail sentence fits Brigham Lawless’ crime just fine.
Lawless, 47, of Cresco, didn’t challenge his convictions for sexually assaulting the child while making another 5-year-old watch in December 2015. He pleaded guilty to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child.
Lawless only contested the severity of the punishment imposed by Monroe County President Judge Margherita Patti Worthington.
The state court disposed of Lawless’ appeal in an opinion by Judge Jack A. Panella.
Panella called Lawless’ appeal contradictory and confused. He noted the penalty Worthington chose is right in the standard sentencing range for such child-sex crimes.
To overturn his sentence, Lawless would have to prove it was unreasonable, Panella noted.
“That is simply not the case here,” he wrote. “Lawless had (the girl) perform oral sex on him while (the other child) watched. And he claimed she ‘begged’ him to do that.”
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