The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

April 6, 2013

Man seems surprised by prison term for corruption

By Joe Pinchot
Herald Staff Writer

MERCER COUNTY — Christian E. Snyder sounded like he was ready to finally take control of his drinking problem and his life.

Snyder, who pleaded guilty Jan. 22 to corruption of a minor, apologized for “everything” and took responsibility for his actions. He acknowledged his drinking problem, proposed a plan to address it, and said he wanted to work and lead a productive life.

“Alcohol’s really been a force multiplier in getting me in trouble,” Snyder said.

But, Mercer County Common Pleas Court Judge Thomas R. Dobson said Snyder will have to delay his plans.

After Dobson sentenced Snyder to 1 year, 3 months to 4 1/2 years in state prison and had called for the next case, Snyder stood alone before him, his attorney and the prosecutor having left the bar in the front of the judge’s bench.

“You’re sending me to state prison?” asked Snyder, formerly of Chambers Avenue, Greenville.

“Yes,” Dobson said.

Dobson said Snyder’s drinking makes him a danger to society, a danger that outweighs his long-standing need for treatment.

Snyder had hopes of entering a Veterans Administration program for drug and alcohol abuse. An honorably discharged Marine, Snyder said he’d never really gone to the VA for anything, but thought this six-month program would help.

A representative of the Butler VA said he had been visiting Snyder every other month and had set up a telephone interview with program managers and Snyder for next week.

Snyder, who has been in jail for 290 days, was charged by a Mercer County detective for fondling a 10-year girl at a sleepover March 31, 2012, on York Street.

Snyder pleaded guilty to corruption of a minor of a non-sexual nature.