NORRISTOWN — A former Royersford man’s own words — a letter he addressed to a little girl he was accused of molesting — spelled conviction at his child sex abuse trial.
Myron Pukowsky, 55, most recently of Los Angeles, Calif., wrote, “Touching you was wrong,” in a letter he addressed to the 5-year-old girl in 2007, according to testimony at his trial in Montgomery County Court.
A jury reviewed that letter as part of prosecutorial evidence during Pukowsky’s trial this week. After three hours of deliberations Wednesday, jurors convicted Pukowsky of two counts each of aggravated indecent assault and indecent assault and a single charge of corruption of a minor in connection with incidents that occurred while the girl was in his company on several occasions in Royersford between January and December 2007. The jury acquitted Pukowsky of a third set of identical charges in connection with one alleged incident.
Pukowsky, who did not testify during his trial, remained stone-faced as the verdict was announced. But after Judge Gary S. Silow revoked his bail and ordered he be held in jail to await sentencing, Pukowsky didn’t hide his disgust with the verdict.
“It was a sham,” Pukowsky bellowed to a reporter as he was escorted from the courtroom by sheriff’s deputies, adding he “absolutely” will appeal the conviction.
Assistant District Attorney Jordan Friter said Pukowsky’s letter, discovered nearly six years after the child confided in a family friend, her mother and a counselor about the incidents, was a significant break in the case.
“It was a clear confession, a specific confession by the defendant to her, apologizing for touching her. At trial, it turned out to be our strongest piece of evidence because there was no possible greater corroboration than the words from the defendant’s mouth,” said Friter, who vowed to seek a state prison sentence against Pukowsky.
Five-and-a-half years after the allegations were initially reported, Pukowsky was taken into custody in April 2013 at his residence in Los Angeles. There is no statute of limitations on sexual assault charges that involve children.
During the trial, the girl, now 11, testified Pukowsky had inappropriate contact with her on several occasions in 2007, when she was 5 years old and in his company.
“He touched me,” the girl told the jury, which also viewed a videotape of a counselor’s 2007 interview of the girl in which she provided more details about Pukowsky’s indecent conduct.
Testimony revealed authorities did not charge Pukowsky with any crimes during the initial stages of the investigation, which eventually stalled.
“The decision was made that there was not enough to prosecute,” Friter explained to the jury.
However, the investigation kicked into high gear again in February 2013 when authorities learned about the discovery of the letter that Pukowsky wrote in 2007, a letter that he had addressed to the little girl but which was never seen by the girl. The letter was found by someone in a Royersford residence where Pukowsky once lived before moving to California.
Testimony revealed Pukowsky had written the letter as part of a therapeutic exercise while he was being treated by a therapist in 2007 but that he had never given it to the girl.
In the letter, portions of which were read in court, Pukowsky told the girl he did “something wrong” and that he believed the girl was telling the truth and that he was sick from drinking alcohol and had lost his judgment. Pukowsky wrote, “Touching you was wrong,” according to testimony.
“That’s a confession, plain and simple,” Friter argued to the jury, maintaining the long lost letter corroborated the allegations made by the girl. “Those words came from his mind and his hand.”
Defense lawyer John Kravitz implied the girl’s allegations were not credible and that her testimony was inconsistent with previous statements she gave to authorities. Kravitz suggested the girl was coached by others who had a grudge against Pukowsky to concoct the allegations against him. He also argued that child social workers and counselors asked the girl leading questions while interviewing her about her claims.
“Wildly contradicted stories and witnesses contradicted constantly,” Kravitz argued to the jury.
Kravitz suggested the discovered letter was not a confession but the ramblings of a man under the influence of alcohol who was questioning why the girl made the allegations.
Witnesses testified that when Pukowsky was confronted by authorities about the girl’s claims in 2007, he adamantly denied the allegations and was “horrified” by them.
Several of Pukowsky’s relatives held hands and wept as the verdict was announced.
“I’m shocked, completely shocked,” said Lisa Cattell, Pukowsky’s sister. “He adamantly denies it. He would not be in my house if I ever thought he was remotely capable of something like this. My brother is not capable of anything like this. We will appeal. An innocent man cannot go away for something like this.”
Follow Carl Hessler Jr. on Twitter @MontcoCourtNews