MIFFLINTOWN - It was a somber morning in the Juniata County Court of Common Pleas on Thursday, when the friends and family of a 13-year-old sexual assault victim listened as Erik Guiser, 42, admitted to abusing the young girl.
President Judge Kathy A. Morrow asked Guiser if he was guilty of the charges filed against him, to which he replied, "Yes, I am."
Randall Zimmerman, who is Guiser's attorney, and Senior Deputy Attorney General Anthony Forray managed to recently reach a plea agreement, whereby Guiser would plead guilty to several felony counts of sexual assault, as well as several related misdemeanor charges, in exchange for a six to 12 year sentence in a state correctional facility.
Forray said the victim and the victim's family approved of the plea agreement.
Guiser was not sentenced on Thursday and Morrow advised the defendant she could choose to reject the plea agreement and impose a sentence of up to 56 years in prison.
Guiser's bail has been revoked and he was taken in to custody by Juniata County Sheriff's Deputies and transported to the Mifflin County Correctional Facility, where he will await sentencing, which will tentatively take place within 90 days. Guiser will also have to undergo an evaluation by the state Sexual Offenders Assessment Board to determine whether he is to be classified as a sexually violent predator.
Guiser appeared remorseful and spent much of his time in court on Thursday attempting to make eye contact with the victim and her family. As he was being led away he mouthed the words "I love you" in their direction.
The victim had requested to read a statement to the court, however Morrow denied the request and said victim statements are not typically heard until the day of sentencing.
The charges against Guiser came about after the Pennsylvania State Police and Children and Youth Services interviewed the 13-year-old girl. The girl alleged that she was sexually assaulted on numerous occasions between January and mid-August of 2012, according to court documents.
Guiser was also interviewed by Pennsylvania State Police and he admitted to several incidents of sexual abuse, police said.