A Millersville sex offender will serve up to 24 years in prison after an appeals court recently denied his claim that video evidence in his case was illegal.
Leon Tadych, 51, pleaded guilty in 2013 – on the eve of trial – to felony sex abuse of a 14-year-old girl, in exchange for a 12-to-24-year prison sentence.
Key evidence in the case were video recordings of the crimes, police captured inside the Tadych home – with his wife’s permission to install the camera.
Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman has said it was one of the only times such a police tactic has been deployed here.
On appeal, Tadych is arguing that his attorney gave him bad advice, and that he should’ve challenged the video evidence rather than agree to a negotiated plea.
The Pennsylvania Superior Court denied that appeal, finding that the attorney gave “reasonable” advice and that Lancaster County President Judge Dennis Reinaker’s previous denial of appeal was appropriate.
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The attorney told Tadych, in 2013, that having the video evidence booted from trial was possible.
However, the attorney told him, there still could be a trial conviction based on the victim’s testimony and letters Tadych had written and statements he made about being in “love” with the girl.
“You could win the battle and lose the war,” the attorney told Tadych, according to the Superior Court’s 12-page opinion.
Also, the appeals court ruled, Tadych made his guilty plea fully aware of his trial rights and the consequences.
Millersville police Sgt. Jeffrey Margevich filed charges in 2012.
MEDIA CONTACT: Brett A. Hambright, 717-295-2041; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @BrettHambright