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Taylor man sentenced to up to 7 years for statutory sexual assault, child pornography convictions | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey


Jun. 21—A Taylor man was sentenced Wednesday to nearly 2 1/2 to 7 years in state prison for sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl and possessing explicit photos of a second teenager.

Michael Paul Moran, 22, was charged in March 2022 with statutory sexual assault and other offenses for having sex with the 13-year-old multiple times at his home between January and February 2022. The girl told police Moran, who was 20 at the time, deceived her into believing he was 16. She reported the assault after learning his true age.

A month after his arrest, Moran was charged with possession of child pornography and related offenses after police searched his phone and discovered explicit photos of a 15-year-old girl. In both cases police said Moran met the girls through the Snapchat social media messaging app.

The Times-Tribune does not identify victims of sexual assault.

Moran pleaded guilty in January statutory sexual assault and unlawful contact with a minor for the first case, and possession of child pornography and criminal use of a communication facility for the second case.

The sentence, imposed by Lackawanna County Judge Andy Jarbola, was less than the 3 1/2 to 10 years Assistant District Attorney Bo Loughney sought, but harsher than the sentence of home confinement Moran’s attorney, Max Lubin of Clarks Summit, suggested.

A member of the state Sexual Offenders Assessment Board determined Moran did not meet the criteria as a sexually violent predator. He will still be required to register as a sex offender for 25 years upon his release from prison based on the nature of the charges.

Loughney argued for a stiff sentence, noting the predatory nature of the crimes. Moran, who at the time was enrolled in college, disguised his age and convinced a second girl to send him explicit photos.

“This is a college student who enticed an 8th grader to sneak out of her house so they could have sexual intercourse,” Loughney said. “The level of intention with two minors can be seen as an aggravating circumstance.”

Lubin noted Moran suffers from a drug and alcohol addiction. He said Moran has taken extensive steps to rehabilitate himself, including seeking counseling for his substance abuse and sexual addictions.

Moran’s parents also spoke about his efforts to change.

In a lengthy statement, Moran recounted his battle with substance abuse and apologized to the victims.

“There are not enough words to express my deep remorse,” he said. “I can’t go back and change things. I can only continue to work on myself.”

While acknowledging Moran’s rehabilitative efforts, Jarbola said he had to consider the impact his crimes had on the victims and the predatory nature of the offenses.

“The victim is scarred for life,” Jarbola said. “It took a lot of planning to devise this scheme.”

Several family members of the 13-year-old victim attended the hearing and confronted Moran’s parents and his attorneys outside the courtroom, yelling that they were “dirt bags.” Sheriff’s deputies quickly broke up the confrontation.

In addition to the prison sentence, Moran was ordered to serve two years probation. He was taken to the Lackawanna County Prison following the hearing pending transfer to a state prison.

Contact the writer: [email protected]; 570-348-9137; @tmbeseckerTT on Twitter.



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