Technicality reduces Boyertown man's sentence in criminal solicitation case

NORRISTOWN — A former Boyertown man convicted of trying to hire someone to kidnap an underage girl he sexually assaulted, to prevent her from testifying against him, saw his prison stint reduced by 18 months on a technicality.

Dwayne Edward Maurer, now 51, was re-sentenced in Montgomery County Court to 3 to 9 years in state prison on charges of criminal solicitation to intimidate a witness, specifically the underage girl and her mother, between April and June 2010. The new sentence, imposed by Judge Steven T. O’Neill, replaces the 4˝- to 9-year sentence Maurer received on the charges in October 2011 after he pleaded guilty.

Defense lawyer Michael P. Gottlieb argued in an appeal that a sentencing guideline sheet, prepared by the county probation department in October 2011, and relied on by the judge and lawyers in the case to sentence Maurer, was incorrect. According to testimony and court documents, court officials relied on a sentencing range recommendation of 36 to 54 months when the correct sentencing guideline range should have been 22 to 36 months.

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“At the very least, defendant is entitled to a new sentencing hearing with the correct sentencing guidelines being calculated,” Gottlieb argued.

While O’Neill held the new sentencing hearing, he rejected Gottlieb’s request that the new sentence be imposed concurrently with the 10-to-20-year prison term Maurer, formerly of East Third Street, already is serving for sexually assaulting the underage girl in Perkiomen.

Gottlieb argued Maurer is a changed man who has been rehabilitated and “sees the light at the end of the tunnel.”

But Assistant District Attorney Matthew Quigg, who sought consecutive sentences, argued that with the solicitation crimes, Maurer “undercut the entire system of justice.”

“The defendant has earned that consecutive time,” Quigg said. “This defendant committed unspeakable acts and then, instead of facing the music… he decided that he wanted to try to kidnap the victim and the victim’s mother in this case.”

O’Neill, as he did in 2011, ordered that the sentence on the solicitation charges run consecutively to the previously imposed sentence in the sexual assault case, meaning Maurer’s total prison sentence is 13 to 29 years.

With the solicitation charges, authorities alleged Maurer attempted to hire someone to kidnap the girl while he was behind prison bars awaiting trial for the sexual assault.

In 2011, O’Neill called Maurer’s crime “chilling.” O’Neill said such conduct can “shake the very foundation” of the criminal justice system.

Maurer was in the county jail in May 2010, awaiting court action on the sexual assault charges, when state police at Skippack received a tip from an informant that Maurer was soliciting help to intimidate the victim, who was under age 13, according to a criminal complaint.

Maurer provided the informant with several scenarios to accomplish the task, including one in which the victim was to be “drugged, abducted and threatened.” Maurer also discussed having the victim kidnapped.

Maurer provided the informant with information about the girl and her mother, including their address, school and workplace, court papers indicate. Maurer allegedly was willing to pay someone in the form of a 1986 Ford F250 pickup truck that he reportedly owned.

As part of a sting operation, Maurer was informed that someone named “Tony” was willing to help him with his plot. Maurer added “Tony” to his jailhouse visitor list and on June 15, 2010, an undercover trooper, posing as “Tony,” visited Maurer at the jail, court documents indicate.

Maurer allegedly told the undercover trooper he wanted the girl and her mother to go “on vacation” for a while and Maurer agreed to pay for their food and expenses while they were held at “a place in the Poconos,” according to court papers.

“Maurer also told (the undercover trooper) that he wanted this done so that they could disappear and his pending charges would be dropped and he wouldn’t be able to be convicted because they were missing,” police said, adding Maurer wanted to scare the girl and her mother to the point they would be afraid to testify against him.

In March 2011, Maurer, who also listed an address along Main Street in East Greenville, was sentenced to 10 to 20 years in state prison, and 10 years’ probation after he pleaded guilty to felony charges of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse in connection with two incidents that occurred between March 2002 and February 2007 while the underage girl was in his company at locations in Perkiomen.

Follow Carl Hessler Jr. on Twitter @MontcoCourtNews