Brosch pleads guilty in child porn ring

Altoona woman will spend 8 to 20 years in prison for role in sex trafficking case

Brosch

HOLLIDAYSBURG — An Altoona woman involved in child pornography, sex trafficking and drug trafficking in mid-2018 will spend eight to 20 years in prison.

Amy M. Brosch, 35, who has been incarcerated since June when arrested by Altoona and state police, rendered guilty pleas Friday in Blair County court where she said she understood her actions.

Two weeks ago in court, Brosch said that medication was keeping her from thinking clearly. So the plea scheduled at that time was canceled and rescheduled.

“It’s eight years of my life gone,” Brosch told Judge Jackie Bernard, who imposed the recommended sentence and ordered a drug and alcohol evaluation and counseling.

Brosch’s incarceration time is at the bottom of the standard range under the state’s sentencing guidelines, Assistant District Attorney Nichole Smith told the judge.

Bernard said her review of the criminal complaint showed that Brosch was accused of providing methamepthamine to a 17-year-old girl, then soliciting the girl’s participation in sexual acts that were to be videorecorded inside a Logan Hills apartment.

Bernard asked Smith if the girl or a family member had come to court.

Smith said no, but advised Bernard that the family and the arresting police officer were consulted and raised no objections to the proposed plea.

“The victim was almost 18 years old and a willing participant,” defense attorney Mark Zearfaus told Bernard.

Had she been at least 18, charges involving a minor would not have been appropriate, he added.

Brosch rendered guilty pleas to eight felonies:

Three first-degree counts to trafficking in minors, conspiracy to making child pornography and recording sex acts involving a child.

Two second-degree counts of sexual exploitation of children and contact with a child for sexual abuse.

Two third-degree counts of possession of child pornography and corruption of minors.

An ungraded count for possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine.

Brosch also pleaded guilty to a first-degree misdemeanor count of copying obscene material.

Bernard advised Brosch that under the state’s Sexual Offenders Registration and Notification Act, her convictions require 25 years of regularly registering her home address and related information with state police.

While Brosch will be credited with time served since her arrest, Smith said Brosch does not qualify for the state’s Recidivism Risk Reduction Initiative that allows early release for some inmates.

Meanwhile, criminal charges are still pending against Stephen J. Apostolu, an Altoona man believed to be at the center of the child pornography ring, and his girlfriend, Kara S. Torna­tore, who faces multiple charges in connection with the sex trafficking and pornography ring.

Online records show Apostolu remains in Bedford County Prison with a preliminary conference on his case scheduled for March 25 at the Blair County Courthouse. His bail is set at $100,000 cash.

Tornatore, incarcerated at the Blair County Prison, also has a preliminary conference scheduled for March 25 at the courthouse. Her bail is set at $100,000 cash.

Mirror Staff Writer Kay Stephens is at 946-7456.

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