BLOOMSBURG (AP) — A mayor who resigned from office after he was charged with patronizing a prostitute has pleaded no contest and must serve time on probation.
Former Bloomsburg Mayor Eric Bower, 36, was charged in April after prosecutors say he solicited sex from a state police informant. The informant told police Bower had paid her for sex before.
Bower entered his no-contest plea Wednesday. In such a plea, a defendant does not admit guilt but is sentenced as if he pleaded guilty.
Bower was sentenced to one year on probation and fined $500. A judge also ordered him to undergo counseling and turn over his gun.
Bower, a Democrat, was elected in November. A day after his arrest, he called the charges a setup.
The mayor resigned last month. He also stepped down from his post as a state constable.
State Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced that Bower pleaded no contest to charges of patronizing prostitutes and attempting to patronize prostitutes.
Shapiro said Bower negotiated a fee for sex with the informant and arrived at the location with cash and condoms, where he was taken into custody.
“The people of Bloomsburg elected Eric Bower as their mayor, and he proceeded to flout the law and solicit sex from a prostitute multiple times,” Shapiro said in a press release. “No one is above the law. As Attorney General, I will not allow individuals in power to abuse the trust the public has placed in them. We’re rooting out public corruption of all forms wherever we find it, without fear or favor.”
The case was referred to the Attorney General’s office by Columbia County District Attorney Thomas E. Leipold.