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City woman in trafficking case drops appeal

Brosch serving time on child porn, sex trafficking charges

HOLLIDAYSBURG — An Altoona woman said Monday that she will withdraw an appeal to the legal proceedings that landed her in prison for eight to 20 years.

Amy M. Brosch, 36, who initiated an appeal in Blair County Court, where she rendered guilty pleas to offenses involving child pornography, sex trafficking and drug trafficking, confirmed that she was backing away from pursuit of the appeal.

Brosch was arrested with Stephen J. Apostolu and Kara S. Tornatore on charges that police say were based on a child pornography and sex trafficking effort in 2017 and 2018 when all three lived in the Logan Hills apartment complex.

Apostolu and Tornatore, who remain incarcerated, have a joint trial pending in August.

“If you withdraw (the appeal), then your case is over,” court-appointed defense attorney Paul Puskar said to Brosch, who participated in Monday’s hearing via video transmission from the State Correctional Institution at Cambridge Springs where she is currently incarcerated.

Brosch acknowledged asking for 30 days to consider her options, then changing her mind and deciding to proceed with withdrawing the appeal.

“I do not wish to go to trial,” Brosch said.

Had Brosch insisted on moving forward with the appeal, Puskar said he would have brought in her former defense attorney to testify about the legal proceedings leading up to her plea and incarceration.

Brosch said she didn’t want to do that.

Blair County Judge Jackie Bernard, scheduled Monday to review Brosch’s pending appeal under the state’s Post Convictions Relief Act, asked Brosch if her decision to withdraw was based on clear thinking.

“Yes,” Brosch said, while audibly exhaling.

In February 2019, Brosch rendered guilty pleas to eight felonies:

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

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

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

n A ungraded count for possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine.

Brosch’s pleas were submitted about two weeks after a court appearance where she had trouble answering questions. After saying that medication was keeping her from thinking clearly, that court appearance was canceled and rescheduled.

Mirror Staff Writer Kay Stephens is at 946-7456.

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