Phoenixville man's case is continued

WEST CHESTER – The trial of a 79-year-old man who authorities contend sexually molested a teenage girl has been continued until October as the prosecution and defense attempt to work out a proper resolution of the case.

Pottstown defense attorney Adam Sager, who represents Donald Richard Schnovel, the accused, appeared last week before Senior Judge Ronald Nagle to request a delay in the trial date until Oct. 15.

Sager noted that his client, who had been arrested in February, had been released on nominal bail earlier this month because of speedy trial issues involved in the case.

It had been more than 180 days since his arrest, and Schnovel had not asked that his case be continued since his arrest and arraignment. Any defendant in prison in lieu of bail for 180 days is entitled to immediate release on nominal bail.


Sager said that Judge Jacqueline C. Cody had authorized Schnovel’s release with the agreement of Assistant District Attorney Deborah Ryan, who is prosecuting the case. He is being supervised on electronic home confinement while awaiting trial.

Schnovel, of Schuylkill, was charged on Feb. 15 with multiple counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, unlawful contact with minors, aggravated indecent assault, and possession of child pornography. Until his release Aug. 17 he had been held in Chester County Prison on $500,000 bail after waiving a preliminary hearing until his release.

Sager, who appeared before Nagle with co-counsel Thomas Pitt of West Chester, said the he and Ryan were in discussions about the case and that no decision on whether to go to trial had yet been made.

He allegedly had inappropriate sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl during the months from May to October 2011.

According to court documents, Schnovel admitted to police that he “requested the (14-year-old) victim perform oral sex on him for which he offered to pay her $5.” Schnovel allegedly drove the girl to the parking lot of Phoenixville Hospital in his red Ford Mustang and the alleged sexual acts took place in his vehicle.

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