A Caernarvon Township man pleaded no contest Thursday to sexually assaulting four young girls.
Using a wheelchair and sporting a black suit and a long, white beard, David Stoltzfus Smucker, 75, accepted an eventual sentencing for 20 felonies, including rape.
With about a dozen of Smucker's family members and a handful of victim advocates in attendance, Lancaster County President Judge Dennis Reinaker told Smucker that those charges have a combined maximum sentence of 246 years in prison and $395,000 in fines.
Smucker was charged in March with two dozen felonies.
Prosecutors dropped four counts of aggravated indecent assault with a child, which Smucker’s attorney, Christopher Sarno, said carry a mandatory sentence of 10 to 20 years each.
District attorney spokesman Brett Hambright said it's not uncommon for certain charges to be dropped as part of plea resolutions. Hambright said the aggravated indecent assault charges cover the conduct included in the dropped charges.
"With pleas to 20 felonies," Hambright said, "we are confident a significant sentence will be ordered to preserve the protection of children and the community from further harm."
Smucker maintains his innocence, Sarno said outside the courtroom Thursday, but his client agreed that it would be a "very difficult case to win."
Police interviewed the four victims in December following a report of suspected child abuse from Lancaster County Children and Youth, court documents show.
The girls told police that Smucker had assaulted them when they were between 4 and 9 years old. Three of the four girls said Smucker told them to keep the incidents a secret.
Following his arrest, Smucker was briefly in Lancaster County Prison before he was transferred to Whispering Hope, a Cumberland County rehabilitation facility for Plain sect men.
Smucker had a stroke three months before his arrest and injured his hip in prison from two separate falls, Sarno has said.
He will remain at Whispering Hope until his sentencing, which Sarno said should be in about two months.
An investigation will also take place within 90 days to decide whether Smucker should be classified a sexually violent predator, meaning he'd be required to both share his whereabouts with the Pennsylvania State Police and attend sex offender counseling for the rest of his life.