BETHLEHEM — On the morning of Tuesday, Aug. 8, Del Lanes owner Marvin Sontz was sentenced to two years in prison, followed by ten years of supervision, and is required to register as a sex offender, after pleading guilty in June to the felony of promoting the sexual performance by a child.
The sentencing by Albany County Supreme Court Justice Thomas Breslin came after a statement by the mother of the victim, a local minor to whom, last December, Sontz sent an image of child pornography through a social media site and from whom he solicited the same.
The victim belonged to a bowling team that played at Del Lanes and her mother described the social and emotional toll that the incident, which caused her to alert her parents and led to Sontz’s arrest, has taken on the young girl.
Not only did Sontz’s positions (he was also a bowling coach for the Bethlehem school district as recently as 2015) allow him regular access to the young girl, who her mother said grew increasingly uncomfortable around him, but his relative popularity within the community also caused a fair share of animosity to be directed at the victim following his arrest. She described a child who has become fearful and withdrawn.
Two years was the maximum sentence for the charge to which Sontz pled. He was handcuffed and taken from the courtroom after indicating that he does not intend to appeal the decision, and an order of protection was filed on behalf of the victim.
Initially, Sontz, a 61-year-old resident of Delmar, was charged with the felonies of disseminating indecent materials and possession a sexual performance by a child as well as the misdemeanor of endangering the welfare of a child.
At the time of Sontz’s arrest, BPD Commander Adam Hornick said there was no evidence suggesting any criminal activity took place at Del Lanes and no indication the subject of the material sent to the victim was a Bethlehem resident.