Kerstetter

Kerstetter

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WILKES-BARRE — A man from Northumberland County apologized for soliciting sex from someone he believed was a 15-year-old girl, telling Luzerne County President Judge Michael T. Vough, “It was a mistake.”

Gary A. Kerstetter, 53, was arrested at his Shamokin residence by Kingston police on Jan. 28 after a series of online communications with a fictitious teen girl, who actually was an undercover detective.

Assistant District Attorney Jill Sosnoski said the communications were sexually graphic.

Court records say Kerstetter’s initial contact with the girl on a social media site Jan. 21 was a message stating, “Good morning beautiful,” before conversing about a series of sexual acts he would enjoy doing with her.

Details of the communications are too graphic to publish.

Kerstetter was before Vough to be sentenced on a single count of unlawful contact with a minor. He pleaded guilty to the charge Aug. 10.

“I’m deeply sorry for my criminal conduct in this incident,” Kerstetter said. “I’m very sorry; It was a mistake.”

“Criminal conduct is not a mistake. You were on a computer talking to a 15-year-old girl. That’s not a mistake,” Vough replied.

Sosnoski requested a state prison sentence, referring to the nature of Kerstetter’s sexually graphic communications, while Kersetter’s attorney, Philip Gelso, requested a probationary sentence.

Vough sentenced Kerstetter to one year, minus one-day to two years, minus two-days in jail. The sentence is designed to keep Kerstetter at the county correctional facility instead of a state prison. He must also serve two years probation and register his address for 25 years under the state’s Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act as a sexual offender.