Man charged in obscene gesture pleads guilty to lesser charge
SUNBURY - A 22-year-old Mount Carmel man charged with making an obscene gesture in front of two young girls in Coal Township two years ago pleaded guilty Monday morning to a misdemeanor of open lewdness and was sentenced to serve one year probation and complete a sexual offenders class coordinated by the county adult probation department.
Rudy M. Huhn also was ordered by Northumberland County Judge Charles H. Saylor to pay a $25 fine plus costs. Charges of obscene and other sexual materials, unlawful contact with a minor, corruption of minors and disorderly conduct were not prosecuted after Saylor ruled July 8 that those offenses were improper to the case.
The defendant, who was represented by county public defender Paige Rosini, admitted to committing the offense and told the judge he "learned his lesson and was sorry for his actions."
Huhn, who is not employed, said he is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) while living with his brother.
Probation officers said Huhn, who had no prior criminal record, has cooperated with authorities since his arrest and adhered to bail supervision conditions.
The maximum sentence for the open lewdness charge is one year incarceration. The charge is not a Megan's Law offense.
In November 2011, Huhn pleaded guilty to first-degree misdemeanors of obscene and other sexual materials and unlawful contact with a minor and was sentenced by Saylor on April 9, 2012, to two years supervised probation, with the first three months being served on house arrest. He also was ordered to pay a $25 fine plus costs.
But on April 30, 2012, Saylor granted Huhn's motion to withdraw his guilty plea and vacate the sentence after it was revealed that the charges to which Huhn pleaded guilty were actually felonies of the third degree instead of misdemeanors. The judge also vacated the requirement for Huhn to register under Megan's Law.
The discrepancy in the grading of the charges was reportedly overlooked by the attorneys and police. Huhn filed his motion to withdraw his plea because the defendant thought he was pleading guilty to misdemeanors. Under Pennsylvania law, Saylor was forced to vacate the sentence and grant Huhn an opportunity to seek a trial or negotiate another plea agreement with the commonwealth.
Huhn was charged by Coal Township Detective Jeff Brennan with rubbing his genitals, with his pants still on, against a fence post in front of two girls, ages 10 and 11, on Sept. 29, 2011, at a playground near the Ferndale ballfield.
During an interview with police, Huhn admitted he intentionally stopped at the playground to watch the children. He also told police that he wanted the girls to see him performing the lewd act.