Former North Pownal man sentenced 13 years to life for sexually assaulting daughter
BENNINGTON>> A former North Pownal man pleaded guilty last week in Bennington Superior Court to repeatedly sexually assaulting his daughter in a case that was reopened this fall.
Timothy P. Snyder, 51, pleaded guilty on Dec. 11 to a felonious charge of aggravated felonious sexual assault. A felonious charge of aggravated sexual assault on a victim under 13 years old was dismissed by the state. He was sentenced to 13 years to life in jail with credit for time already served.
Snyder, who was arrested in 2013, pleaded guilty to a charge earlier this year and was sentenced to 13 years to life in jail. Snyder later appealed the conviction, arguing that he was sentenced under a statute that did not exist when the offenses occurred and requested he be resentenced under the previous version. The case was reopened in October after the Vermont Supreme Court vacated the judgement of conviction.
According to an affidavit filed by Detective Anthony Silvestro of the Bennington Police Department, he met with a woman in December of 2013 who stated she was sexually abused by Snyder, her biological father, from about ages 5 to 18.
The affidavit details several graphic incidences in which Snyder sexually assaulted the woman in the family home. The woman, who was 24 when she spoke with police, stated Snyder forced her to commit various sexual acts on him and forced her to have sex with him. She also said that at the age of 12, when she was not having sex with anyone else, she became pregnant and had an abortion.
The woman also provided police with a recording of a conversation she had with her father, in which he admits to the sexual abuse, denies having ever abused anyone else, and said that he would rather take his own life than go to jail and that he feels like "the lowest scum on earth."
The woman said that she had not told anyone until recently because her father told her growing up that if she had, "she would be pushing up daisy's," according to the affidavit.
Snyder pleaded guilty on Dec. 19, 2014 to the felonious charge of aggravated sexual assault on a child under 13 years, while the felonious charge of repeated aggravated sexual assault was dismissed by the state. He was sentenced by Judge David A. Howard on Jan. 21 to 13 years to life in prison.
Snyder later appealed the sentence to the Vermont Supreme Court. The appeal argued that, to establish factual basis, Snyder agreed that some sexual acts took place when the victim was under 13.
The statute he pleaded guilty to, the appeal argued, only went into effect in 2006. Prior to that, the victim had to be under 10 and there was no mandatory minimum sentence. The appeal argued Snyder could not have violated the statute because the victim turned 13 in 2002 — four years before the current version of the statute went into effect. The appeal acknowledged that the victim was under 10 in previous incidents and that the plea must stand, and argued Snyder be resentenced on the grounds there was no mandatory minimum sentence under the version of the statue in effect at the time of the offenses.
"The state agrees that there was an error, but asserts that the matter cannot be simply resentenced because there was no factual basis for the plea that was made," the Supreme Court's Oct. 21 decision stated. The decision argued that the plea should be revoked and the matter be taken up for further proceedings.
The case was reopened on Oct. 21. The Supreme Court denied an Oct. 29 motion from Snyder's public defender, Albert Schaal Fox, for reargument on the grounds it failed to identify points of law or facts overlooked by the court in its previous decision.
Contact Edward Damon at 413-770-6979
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.