Brian Julian Marchini is escorted to a Montgomery County courtroom on Aug. 25, 2023 for his sentencing hearing on child rape charges. (Carl Hessler Jr. – MediaNews Group)
NORRISTOWN — A Hatfield Township man showed no emotion as a judge sent him to prison for at least 16 years for the “horrific conduct” of sexually assaulting an underage girl on multiple occasions while she was in his company at locations in Lansdale, Telford and Perkasie.
Brian Julian Marchini, 49, of the 2200 block of Lenhart Road, did not address Montgomery County Judge Wendy G. Rothstein on Friday before she sentenced him to 16 to 32 years in a state correctional facility in connection with incidents that occurred between 2000 and 2005 while the victim was between the ages of 5 and 9 and he was between the ages of 26 and 31.
“You took advantage of someone who could not fight back. You stole her innocence and ability to trust others. There needs to be consequences for this horrific conduct,” Rothstein addressed Marchini.
During a two-day trial in March, a jury convicted Marchini of multiple charges including rape of a child, aggravated indecent assault of a person under 13, indecent assault of a person under 13, unlawful contact or communication with a minor and false imprisonment.
Marchini also faces a lifetime requirement to report his address to state police in order to comply with Pennsylvania’s Sexual Offender Registration and Notification Act, formally known as Megan’s Law.
During a separate hearing, Michael Lavetsky, a member of the state’s Sexual Offenders Assessment Board, testified he reviewed a wealth of information about Marchini, including police reports and trial testimony, and determined Marchini has a mental abnormality, specifically a pedophilia disorder, and a personality defect and that he exhibited predatory behavior. Lavetsky concluded that Marchini meets criteria under the state board’s guidelines to be classified as a sexually violent predator.
Rothstein said she found Lavetsky’s testimony to be credible and she declared Marchini to be a sexually violent predator, which triggers more stringent restrictions, including mandatory counseling and community notification about his living arrangements after he’s paroled.
The investigation of Marchini began in November 2020, when the victim, then 25, went to Lansdale police to report that she had been sexually assaulted by Marchini while she was in his company on multiple occasions when she was a child.
Delivering an eloquent and candid statement to the judge, the young woman testified on Friday that Marchini’s actions “completely affected the course of my life” and that “the developmental impacts caused by this crime will leave me impaired for my entire life.”
Despite her trauma, the woman said she didn’t want to see Marchini die in prison and advocated for a sentence that would punish Marchini for what he did but also provide him counseling and other resources that would lead him on the path to becoming a better person.
“He must know that he will be free someday and work for that future. Otherwise, this would be revenge, not redemption or justice. Therefore, I believe minimum sentencing will create the optimal motivation for behavioral changes. I want him to constantly think about who he will be when he is released,” the woman said.
Rothstein addressed the woman, calling her courageous for coming forward.
“You are not a victim. You are a strong, young lady. Don’t let his actions define who you are. You are a courageous, strong, young woman,” Rothstein said as she looked at the woman seated in the courtroom gallery.
While she appreciated the victim’s recommendation, Assistant District Attorney Caroline Goldstein argued for a lengthy prison term against Marchini, preferably one that kept him behind bars for the rest of his life.
“This defendant has had 20 years of freedom that he did not deserve,” said Goldstein, referring to the case that involved a delayed disclosure by the victim. “(The victim) has to live with this the rest of her life. She was a kid and this has shaped her life. I think this defendant should spend the rest of his life in prison.
“It’s hard to fathom how this defendant lives with himself. He’s a predator. He is a danger to everyone in society, specifically to children. This defendant deserves no leniency,” Goldstein added.
Defense lawyer Basil Beck argued for leniency on behalf of Marchini, pointing out he had no prior record.
“I don’t think warehousing my client, I don’t think that’s in the best interest of anybody,” argued Beck, adding Marchini has had 20 years of living “a presumably law-abiding life.” “I think he deserves to have a life.”
During the trial, Marchini testified in his own defense and denied the victim’s accusations, suggesting she fabricated the events.
But the prosecution’s evidence included a recorded phone conversation during which the victim, as an adult, confronted Marchini about the assaults and he responded, “I can’t stress how sorry I am for all of it,” according to testimony.
Detectives alleged the abuse included Marchini touching the victim in an indecent manner and escalated to other sexual acts, including rape.
“(The victim) recalled being pinned down, struggling to get away and using her feet to try to kick to get free,” Lansdale Detective Joel Greco wrote in the arrest affidavit, adding the victim recalled Marchini was heavy at the time and would lay on top of her, making it impossible for her to get away. “She was kicking but could not get him off and remembers the sensation of feeling weak.”
The victim told detectives she would try “to run, kick, anything she could to get away.”
Goldstein praised the investigation by Greco.
“The police did a fantastic job with this case. This was a 20-year delayed disclosure, which is obviously incredibly hard to prosecute. But the police, through getting witness statements and a recorded phone call between the victim and the defendant were able to put together a case that ultimately ended in the right result,” Goldstein said.