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Kittanning man gets probation for lewd text

| Wednesday, March 6, 2013, 12:21 a.m.

A Kittanning man was sentenced Tuesday morning to six years' probation and fined $1,000 plus court costs for texting an explicit photo of himself to two young girls in June 2011.

Patrick Rau Shuster, 42, who pleaded guilty about six months ago to corruption of minors and harassment, must also complete 60 hours of community service and pay $50 a month for his supervision.

Armstrong County Judge James J. Panchik ordered Shuster to stay away from the girls and their families.

Panchik called the photo “brutal to the psyche and development” of the girls, who were 12 and 13 at the time of the texting.

“There is no excuse. The court finds it abhorrent and deviant,” the judge said before handing down the sentence. “That said, the defendant is contrite and he has completed counseling without being ordered by the court to do so.”

Shuster had no prior criminal record.

He said nothing during the proceeding and had no comment when he later left the courtroom.

The sentence ratified a plea bargain reached between Shuster's attorney and the state attorney general's office in mid-September. The AG's office took over the prosecution because Shuster is an acquaintance of the Armstrong County district attorney and his staff.

On Tuesday, Deputy Attorney General Todd Goodwin, of Pittsburgh, and Shuster's attorney, Chuck Pascal, didn't object to the wording of a pre-sentence report done on Shuster.

Shuster was initially charged with 21 charges, including some felonies.

All but the corruption and harassment charges were dismissed after the state attorney general's office investigated the case further and the plea bargain was accepted.

Chuck Biedka is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4711 or cbiedka@tribweb.com.

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