Monday, June 9, 2014

Corruption Of Minors Conviction Draws Interim Suspension

A Pennsylvania attorney has had his license suspended pending further proceedings as a result of a criminal conviction, according to the web page of the Pennsylvania Disciplinary Board

Citizensvoice. com has the details

A local attorney accused of coercing two teenage girls to a Wilkes-Barre motel for sex pleaded no contest to two corruption of minors charges Tuesday morning in Luzerne County Court.

Luzerne County Judge David Lupas sentenced Attorney Robert Zanicky, 40, of Drums, to one year probation, which consisted of two concurrent sentences for each charge for each victim. Zanicky is not permitted to have contact with the victims or any underage girls during the year.

Zanicky, who has a law firm in Wilkes-Barre and is president of the United Soccer Training Academy, was charged in 2011 with corrupting the morals of two girls, who were 16 and 17 at the time. He was scheduled to go to trial on the charges, but a plea agreement was reached.

Both victims testified at a preliminary hearing in March last year before Magisterial District Judge James Tupper that he sent them sexually explicit test messages, bought them things and took them to the Wilkes-Barre Lodge on Kidder Street.

The victim, who was 17, testified then that she had consensual sex with Zanicky at the Wilkes-Barre Lodge.

The other victim, who was 16, said Zanicky drove her to the same motel, where he wanted to "talk" about his wife being diagnosed with cancer. When they went into the room, she said he kissed her and talked about all the things he wanted to do to her, such as pull her hair and throw her against the wall. She said she ran out of the room to the car and asked him to take her to her friend's house.

The two victims attended the court proceeding Tuesday, but did not testify.

"It's good that the girls didn't have to testify and they could put this all behind them," Assistant District Attorney Jenny Roberts said after the sentencing. "They're both in school now and want to just move on with their lives and this is a step in that direction."

According to the police criminal complaint, the 16-year-old victim said she met Zanicky at Rodano's Pizza in Wilkes-Barre when she was with her two friends. She said he joked around about older men with younger girls. He began texting her later that night while he was on a "date night" with his wife and the communication continued for several weeks.

About a week later, she and her friend met Zanicky and his friend at Mizu Sushi in Wilkes-Barre Township. She said he asked her and her friend about their sex lives and how many sexual partners they have had. The victim told police Zanicky was "getting a littler weird and became more interested in my sex life and became sort of obsessive over the guys I was with."

A few weeks later, he met her and her friend and gave them gas money and said if they had sex with him, he would take care of them and buy them things. He later paid for the one victim to have her nails done and joked about them getting a hotel room.

He demanded to see the one victim's license and said, "Good, you're 16. This is perfectly legal."

In Pennsylvania, the age of consent is 16. If the minor is under age 18, however, an adult can be charged with the misdemeanor charge which Zanicky faced: corruption of a minor.

The victim said he drove her to the Wilkes-Barre Lodge and she didn't want to go into the room and told him no about six times, but he told her his wife was sick and he just needed to relax. When they went to the room, she said he began touching her in a "creepy way" and kissed her.

According to the police criminal complaint, Zanicky told her "how good it felt because he couldn't ever kiss his wife in months because she had cancer." She said she got up and ran to the door.

The other victim said when he took her to the hotel, they had sex and he tried to contact her afterwards but she refused to answer his phone call.

"This is a serious matter," Lupas said Tuesday during the sentencing. "Hopefully, they can move forward with their lives and put this matter behind them."

Zanicky left the courtroom quietly with his attorney, Todd Henry. If Zanicky travels now, it will have to be approved by the probation department, Roberts said.

He also must undergo a mental health evaluation and a drug evaluation. Zanicky still holds his law license, but Roberts said his plea "will obviously have ramifications on that."

"He will lose his license," she said.

(Mike Frisch)

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