HARRISBURG, Pa. -- (WPMT) -- Artur Samarin, also known as Asher Potts, pleaded guilty to several charges related to impersonating a Harrisburg High School student.
Dauphin County First Assistant District Attorney Francis Chardo said “he pleaded guilty to statutory sexual assault, identity theft, and tampering with records, and conspiracy with his foster parents to commit those theft related offenses.”
Samarin now faces a maximum of 40 years in prison for those charges, while the Commonwealth dropped an additional corruption of a minor charge.
“He faces up to 40 years imprisonment, now that’s the statutory maximum, we know that rarely does anyone get the statutory maximum, but the judge will have full discretion to decide the appropriate sentence,” Chardo said.
While Samarin admitted to conspiring with his caretakers, Stephanie and Michael Potts, although no charges have been filed against the couple.
“We’re looking at that, of course. The federal authorities are looking at that, that’s not for Mr.Samarin to say. We’re evaluating that, and we’ll do the right thing based on the investigation,” Chardo said.
The Ukrainian national appeared calm and reserved in court in front of Judge Deborah Curcillo. The judge will decide how much time Samarin will serve at a pre-sentencing hearing on September 20th.
“This was not a plea agreement, but often times, our cases end in guilty pleas, and they decided it was in the best interests to take responsibility and plead guilty,” Chardo said.
Whether Samarin will be sent back to the Ukraine after serving his time is to be determined.
Samarin used the the alias Asher Potts while attending Harrisburg High School from September 2012 through December 2015.
While at school, Samarin met a 15-year-old girl named “E.F.” whom he had sex with in the summer and fall of 2015.
In court, Chardo stated the value of the education that Samarin received is more than $2,000.
According to Pennsylvania law, cases of identity theft in which the property or services received total more than $2,000 are classified as a third-degree felony.