Western PA man sentenced to prison for soliciting sex with teen in Scranton

Jul. 28—A Lackwanna County judge ordered a western Pennsylvania man who faces time in state prison for soliciting a teenage girl for sex online to surrender at Lackawanna County Prison before the end of week.

Theodore Knisely Jr., 34, of Brownsville, was sentenced Wednesday by Judge Andy Jarbola to two to four years in state prison plus a year of probation on charges of unlawful contact with a minor and criminal use of a communication facility.

The judge gave Knisely, who appeared for his sentencing hearing remotely, until 4 p.m. Friday to report to the county jail.

The state attorney's general office arrested Knisely on Aug. 25 in Scranton after he traveled to the city to meet a 14-year-old girl with whom he communicated online and arranged to have sex. The purported teen turned out to be an undercover agent of the attorney general's office.

Knisely spoke at length before he was sentenced, telling Jarbola his arrest finally forced him to confront his sex addiction and seek treatment.

Although he lost his job and he lost relationships, he said, he is no longer living what he called "a life of insanity" and will be a better person in the end with rehabilitation and therapy.

"It's embarrassing, but I'm glad that it happened," Knisely said, adding that he knows he must be punished for what he did.

His attorney, Bernard Brown, asked Jarbola to consider that Knisely is undergoing treatment and has no prior criminal record.

Contact the writer: dsingleton@timesshamrock.com, 570-348-9132