WILKES-BARRE — Despite claims that he was a “model inmate,” a Duryea man was sentenced to spend at least 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to raping a pre-teen girl.
Christopher McCauley, 42, was also sentenced Tuesday on charges of unlawfully entering a school bus and threatening the driver.
Luzerne County Judge Joseph F. Sklarosky Jr. sentenced McCauley to spend 12 to 25 years in state prison for raping a 12-year-old girl.
McCauley was also sentenced to between 30 days and five years for a charge of terroristic threats, plus 12 months of probation for a misdemeanor count of unlawfully entering a school bus. These sentences are to be served consecutively with the more serious sentence, effectively nullifying them.
Defense attorney Matthew Clemente told Sklarosky that McCauley, who had no prior record, had been a “model inmate” in prison, even beginning to attend Bible study.
McCauley said he was sorry for his actions and that he accepted responsibility for what he had done.
Prosecutors, however, pushed for the maximum sentence of 20 to 40 years.
Ultimately, Sklarosky decided on the lesser sentence of 12 to 25 years for the rape charge, acknowledging both the serious nature of the offense and McCauley’s willingness to accept responsibility.
McCauley was arrested in January when Duryea Police accused him of bribing the girl to have sex with him. The girl’s grandmother told police the victim had told her she would have sex with McCauley “in order to get snacks.”
Assistant District Attorney Cara Solimine called McCauley’s actions “horrifying,” saying the investigation began after the girl was nauseous for an undetermined reason. It was eventually determined she was pregnant with a child fathered by McCauley.
Solimine also said the girl was exposed to sexually transmitted diseases.
In addition to those charges, McCauley was arrested in September 2016 after he unlawfully boarded his granddaughter’s bus, threatening both the driver and students after being told she was being bullied.
Police say McCauley told the driver and students he would shoot them if the bullying continued.
McCauley pleaded guilty to the charges against him Aug. 24 as part of a plea deal, leading to prosecutors withdrawing numerous counts in both cases.
In addition to prison time, McCauley will have to pay $983 to the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office to cover prosecution costs. He must register for life under the Adam Walsh Act, undergo sex offender counseling and refrain from any contact with the victim and unauthorized contact with minors.
Sklarosky gave McCauley credit for 314 days time served before sending him to state prison to begin his term.