Ukrainian, 23, who faked age for high school pleads guilty

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A 23-year-old Ukrainian man accused of faking his name and age while attending a Pennsylvania high school and having sex with an underage girl pleaded guilty Monday.

Artur Samarin entered the plea to a number of fraud and sex charges, which carry penalties of up to 40 years in prison and $90,000 in fines.

Since Samarin has no sentencing deal, It will be up to Dauphin County Judge Deborah Curcillo to choose his punishment during sentencing scheduled for September.

He also faces federal fraud charges and could be deported.

Samarin, thin and pale and dressed in a yellow county prison uniform, said little as he stood before the judge with his lawyer, Adam Klein. He told the judge he had been speaking English for more than three years and understood the charges against him.

Klein said Samarin consulted with an immigration attorney before deciding to enter the pleas.

Samarin, who called himself Asher Potts, is accused of having sex with a 15-year-old girl. The arrest affidavit said Samarin told a detective in February he had sex with the girl in the fall of 2014, when he was 22.

He had impressed teachers and community leaders while attending John Harris High School in Harrisburg and had been accepted into a college in Florida before authorities concluded he was considerably older and was a Ukrainian citizen who overstayed a student work visa.

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