LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. — Update (Nov. 23, 2021): According to the Lancaster District Attorney's office, Howland was sentenced to 30-105 years in prison on Nov. 18.
Howland was found guilty on all counts in August 2021.
Lancaster County Judge Donald Totaro, who ordered the sentencing, said that Howland was "one of the most dangerous types of offenders," and that the transcript of the case does "not portray how evil the defendant really is."
Totaro also said that if Howland is ever released from prison, he will be supervised by state parole and will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
A Lancaster man was arrested Wednesday night after investigators say he drove to Indiana early Tuesday morning and kidnapped a 13-year-old girl after pursuing her online.
Andrew E. Howland, 38, is charged with kidnapping, unlawful contact with a minor, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault, statutory sexual assault and indecent assault on a person less than 16 years old. Howland was arraigned early Friday morning and taken to Lancaster County Prison in lieu of over $1 million dollars bail.
Prosecutors say Howland had been speaking to the girl online and planned to bring her back to Lancaster County to sexually assault her.
Local investigators working with law enforcement in Indiana tracked the pair to the Comfort Inn on Abel Drive on Wednesday night.
Police say Howland kidnapped the girl from her home in Indiana around 1 a.m. Tuesday then drove back to Lancaster County where he took her to two separate Comfort Inns--one along Champ Boulevard on Tuesday and Abel Drive on Wednesday.
The girl is in the custody of social services.
“This case is a stark reminder of the dangers children can encounter online,” Lancaster County District Attorney Heather Adams said. “Social networking platforms can be hunting grounds for predators hoping to contact and victimize children. Police will continue to be as proactive as possible to interrupt this deviant activity.”
A preliminary hearing is tentatively scheduled for December 16.