News Article Details

Judge sentences man to state prison for sexually assaulting autistic girl

Times Leader - 1/4/2019

Jan. 04--WILKES-BARRE -- A shackled Pedro Ewing asked to withdraw his no contest plea on charges he sexually assaulted an autistic girl inside a Wilkes-Barre residence in 2015.

Instead, Luzerne County Judge Michael T. Vough on Friday sentenced Ewing to 18 to 36 years in state prison.

Vough set up the sentence to begin once Ewing finishes serving a sentence of 3 years, six months to seven years for an armed robbery at the Wine and Spirits store in Wilkes-Barre Township in April 2015.

"You can appeal your sentence but I'll tell you right now, I will deny it," Vough said to Ewing.

Wilkes-Barre police charged Ewing in September 2015, alleging he took a 14-year-old girl to a residence on New Alexander Street where he forced her to have sex and perform lewd sexual acts. The girl claimed Ewing placed a pipe to her mouth and made her smoke an illegal drug before the sexual assault took place, court records say.

Police said the girl is autistic and got lost while out for a walk when she was approached by Ewing in the area of Carey Avenue and Academy Street.

Procedural moves

Ewing previously pleaded guilty to a single count of unlawful contact with a minor in April 2016. A judge granted his request to withdraw the guilty plea while he battled with his court-appointed attorneys and defended himself for a short time.

Ewing pleaded no contest to charges of statutory sexual assault, corruption of minors, unlawful contact with a minor and two counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse on Oct. 29.

At his sentencing hearing, Ewing asked again to withdrew his plea agreement with prosecutors, claiming he was innocent on two charges he said were "cover up charges."

"I have evidence that I wasn't there," Ewing said in his request, which was promptly denied by Vough.

The girl's mother told Vough her daughter continues to be haunted by the sexual assaults and has trouble leaving their house and falling asleep.

'I have no excuse'

"I apologize. I'm heartbroken I tore your family apart. I'm so sorry. I'm certainly ashamed for my actions. I have no excuse," Ewing said to the girl's mother.

Vough told Ewing he basically "kidnapped" and sexually assaulted a lost, autistic teenager.

"I wish I could snap my fingers and help your daughter but I can't but what I can do is send this man away so he doesn't hurt you or anyone else anymore," Vough said to the girl's mother.

Ewing, formerly of West Chestnut Street, Wilkes-Barre, and Pittsburgh, was free on $30,000 unsecured bail on the armed robbery charges at the Wine and Spirits store when he sexually assaulted the girl, court records say.

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