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Ex-mayor of Bloomsburg pleads no contest to charges of patronizing prostitutes

Law and justice

HARRISBURG — The former mayor of Bloomsburg pleaded no contest to charges of patronizing and attempting to patronize prostitutes in Columbia County, Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced Wednesday in a press release.

Eric T. Bower, 36, was charged with patronizing prostitutes in April after soliciting sex from a Pennsylvania State Police confidential informant, Shapiro said. Bower negotiated a fee for sex with the informant and showed up at the agreed-upon location with cash and condoms. Police then took him into custody.

The informant told police she had sex with Bower in exchange for cash on multiple occasions, according to Shapiro. Bower resigned his positions as mayor and town constable on the same day he waived a preliminary hearing on the charges.

The case was referred to the Office of the Attorney General by Columbia County District Attorney Thomas E. Leipold.

After entering his plea before Common Pleas Senior Judge David Grine, Bower was sentenced to one year of probation and ordered to pay court costs and a $500 fine. He also must undergo counseling and turn over the firearm he used in connection to his prior duties as a town constable, according to Shapiro.

“The people of Bloomsburg elected Eric Bower as their mayor, and he proceeded to flout the law and solicit sex from a prostitute multiple times,” Shapiro said in the press release. “No one is above the law. As attorney general, I will not allow individuals in power to abuse the trust the public has placed in them. We’re rooting out public corruption of all forms wherever we find it, without fear or favor.”