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Last updated: April 10. 2014 11:10PM - 2467 Views
By - elewis@timesleader.com



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WILKES-BARRE — Cooperating with investigators and enrolling in a trade school helped a Back Mountain man avoid jail.


Luzerne County prosecutors on Thursday withdrew a third-degree felony charge of child pornography against Matthew Silvestri, 21, of Summit Street, Shavertown, in exchange to a no-contest plea to misdemeanor charges of simple assault, reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct.


Judge Joseph Sklarosky Jr. accepted the negotiated plea deal between Assistant District Attorney Jenny Roberts and Silvestri’s attorney, Peter Paul Olszewski Jr.


Roberts said the reason she amended the charges against Silvestri was due to his cooperation when and after he was arrested in April 2013. He voluntarily sought and continues to receive sexual offender therapy, obtained and maintains full-time employment and enrolled in a trade school.


State police Bureau of Criminal Investigations and Luzerne County detectives with the Northeast Computer Crime Task Force alleged they found eight movie clips of naked children and two movie clips of children engaged in lewd acts on Silvestri’s computer, according to the criminal complaint.


Roberts said the amended charges were “in the interest of justice.’


Olszewski said Silvestri works 32 hours every weekend and drives to Allentown to attend a trade school in hopes of becoming a welder.


“His future is very bright,” Olszewski said. “I have every reason to believe he is going to be a model citizen for the rest of his life.”


A no-contest plea carries the same weight as a guilty plea without admitting guilt.


Sklarosky sentenced Silvestri to five years probation, and ordered him not to have any contact with minors without supervision.


“Actions speak louder than words,” the judge told Silvestri. “So far, you have been sincere.”


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