State prison for twice-convicted Fairview Twp. child abuser
- Peter J. Moore was sentenced Tuesday to four to eight years in state prison for child abuse.
- In 2004 he was sentenced to six to 12 years in prison for attempted murder on a different son.
- Moore maintains his innocence and his wife, the boy's mother, stands behind him as well.
A Fairview Township man who previously served state prison time for severely injuring one son in 2003 must serve more prison time for injuring his other son.
Peter J. Moore, 41, appeared in York County Court on Tuesday and asked the presiding judge for a sentence that allowed him to support wife Lisa Moore and their two kids.
"If there was a way I could continue to go to work and continue to help her financially," said Moore, who maintains his innocence. "I don't want them to suffer any more for the things that have happened."
Defense attorney Joseph Caraciolo noted that Moore has served 636 days in prison so far on his recent case before posting bail. The attorney asked Common Pleas Judge Michael E. Bortner to impose a time-served sentence followed by a long period of probation.
But deputy prosecutor Stephen McDonald argued for a sentence in the aggravated range of Pennsylvania's state sentencing guidelines.
"He lied to police from day one," McDonald said. "Not once have I seen any remorse."
'Didn't learn': The prosecutor noted it's the second time Moore has injured a small, helpless child.
"He didn't learn anything from the last time," McDonald said.
Bortner said he was greatly concerned about the Moore's second offense, especially because it happened while he was on state parole for his first conviction.
The judge said he understands a long sentence would be a hardship for Moore's children, but said, "We just can't overlook the seriousness of this."
He sentenced Moore to a total of four to eight years in state prison, with credit for time-served. A standard-range minimum sentence would have started anywhere between 18 and 24 months, McDonald later said.
The case: A jury in May convicted Moore of aggravated assault and child endangerment for a March 8, 2014, assault on his then-14-month-old son.
At the time, Lisa Moore was at the grocery store and Peter Moore was home alone with their son and her then-5-year-old daughter, who is autistic and sometimes violent. Both Moores testified at trial in May that they believe it was the girl who accidentally injured their son.
All four of the boy's lower leg bones were broken, according to trial testimony.
A prosecution expert testified only an adult could have inflicted such injuries, while a defense expert testified the daughter also was able to cause the injuries.
The boy has recovered, Fairview Township Police Detective Jarrett Boyles has said. He is about 4 years old now.
First conviction: In January 2004, Moore pleaded guilty to attempted murder and aggravated assault for shaking his older son, who at the time was just 3 months old.
He initially lied to township police about that assault, telling them his son fell off a couch, but he later confessed, police have said.
He was sentenced to six to 12 years in state prison and paroled after about seven years, officials have said.
McDonald and Caraciolo said they don't know whether state parole authorities will also sentence Moore to prison for violating his parole by incurring a new offense. But if they do, they could sentence him to the entire five years (approximately) that he didn't serve, the attorneys confirmed.
And that time would be consecutive to his four to eight years, McDonald said.
The littlest victims: The prosecutor acknowledged it's unfortunate when innocent people are affected by crime. In this case he was reacting to the fact that Moore's son and stepdaughter will lose his income while he's incarcerated.
Caraciolo said Lisa Moore — who testified she believes her husband is innocent — is a stay-at-home mother, primarily because of her daughter's special needs. She is a different woman than the mother of the baby shaken in 2003, who is Moore's ex-wife.
Lisa Moore spoke in court on Tuesday and told the judge the Moores were a happy family, and that her husband is a good father.
"He's been there for us. He's a good man, an honest man," she said. "The people who were punished the most were the children."
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.