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Sex Assault Charges Waived to Court for Schuylkill Man

Donald Schnovel, 79, appeared in Phoenixville district court Thursday.

A 79-year-old Schuylkill Township man accused of a sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl appeared in a Phoenixville courtroom briefly on Thursday. 

All charges were waived to county court, and several new charges were added for Donald Richard Schnovel. He was represented in court by private attorney Adam Sager, who agreed to the modified waiver. 

New charges include two counts of felony corruption of minors and a felony charge of criminal solicitation of minors relating to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse. 

According to police, a 14-year-old girl came forward, indicating that she had been a victim of sexual assault by Schnovel during multiple instances during the summer. Schnovel, who the girl told police was a family friend, took her to the parking lot of Phoenixville Hospital in his red convertible Ford Mustang and she performed oral sex on him, according to the criminal complaint. He also touched her breasts and took photos of her, the girl allegedly told police.

When police interviewed Schnovel, he allegedly admitted that he had inappropriate contact with the girl and had once offered her $5 for oral sex. In addition, Schnovel admitted to having two nude close-up photos of the girl taken when she was in his Mustang on his cell phone, which police seized during a search of his Rutledge Avenue home on Nov. 21, according to court papers. 

Schnovel's formal arraignment is set for March 1. Sager did not make any bail argument for his client, who remains in Chester County Prison on $500,000 cash bail. 

All charges now move on to the county court level, and Schnovel is awaiting trial.

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