Ivor man pleads guilty to molestation charges

Published 7:49 am Friday, June 26, 2009

COURTLAND—A 34-year-old Ivor man pleaded guilty to four felony charges in Southampton County Circuit Court on Thursday.

Brian Paul Engel agreed to plead guilty to two charges of forcible sodomy and two charges of animate object sexual penetration. He told Judge Rodham T. Delk Jr. that he was entering the guilty pleas because it was in his best interest to do so.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, Engel will not be sentenced to more than 16 years and seven months in prison. Also, the Commonwealth will not pursue the remaining seven indictments against Engel.

Engel had been charged with seven counts of forcible sodomy, two counts of animate object sexual penetration, and two counts of indecent liberties with a minor. Nine of the 11 charges – forcible sodomy and animate sexual penetration – carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.

The two charges of indecent liberties call for five years in prison without parole.

Southampton County Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Cooke said that if the cases against Engel went to trial he would have to call several witnesses, including the two young victims. Cooke then had two CDs and a transcript containing interviews of the victims by investigators and Social Services submitted as evidence.

“I will take the plea agreement under advisement,” said Delk. “Given the seriousness of the charges, I am ordering a pre-sentencing report and a (competency) evaluation.”

Sentencing has been scheduled for Sept. 10.

Engel is accused of molesting two girls under the age of 13 several times between June 1, 2004, and Feb. 17, 2008. He was arrested on March 13, 2008.