Jefferson County man sentenced up to 80 years on child sex crimes

Local News

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Jefferson County District Attorney Jeff Burkett released a statement Friday that a Reynoldsville man was sentenced and declared a “sexually violent predator” under Megan’s Law.

Michael Scott Zernell, 54, was found guilty of:

  • Criminal attempt to commit statutory sexual assault
  • Two counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child under 13
  • Aggravated indecent assault of a child under 13
  • Three counts of indecent assault
  • Six child pornography offenses
  • Three counts of criminal use of a communication facility
  • Three counts of invasion of privacy.

Additionally, Zernell was convicted of six counts of aggravated assault and eluding state police who were pursuing him.

On Nov. 4, Zernell received an aggregate sentence of 37.5 to 80 years in prison, according to Burkett. He will not be eligible for parole until he’s in his 90s.

“We are very pleased with his sentence,” Burkett said. “Judge [John] Foradora holds criminals accountable, especially ones who prey on children. He will never again victimize a vulnerable young girl.”

Burkett thanked former Reynoldsville Police Chief Troy Bell as well as the team of professionals in his office that helped bring Zernell to justice.

Sign up for the WTAJ Newsletter for the latest local news, weather, and community events that matter to you.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Don't Miss