Lancaster men convicted of 2015 attack outside Molly’s Pub denied bids for new trials, lesser sentences

LANCASTER — Four men convicted of beating a man into unconsciousness in an attack outside a Lancaster bar on Christmas morning in 2015 will not get new trials or lesser sentences after recent rulings by a state appellate court, the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Anthony Maglietta, the former owner of Molly’s Pub on East Chestnut Street, and accomplices Raymond Lee III, Joshua J. Ellis, and Alexander Rodriguez-Cruz were convicted of the attack in May 2017 and sentenced in December of that year.

The four men were found guilty of attacking a 30-year-old male victim outside the bar for an extended period of time, even after he was unconscious. The attack was captured on the bar’s surveillance video.

Maglietta, 47, is serving 5½ to 11 years in prison. Lee, a former employee at the bar who was later determined to be the ringleader of the attack, is serving a 10- to 20-year sentence. Ellis is serving five to 10 years, while Rodriguez-Cruz received a 4½ to 10-year sentence.

Maglietta argued on appeal that his trial conviction went against the weight of the evidence and that the sentencing judge treated him harsher than his co-defendants because he owned the bar. He also claimed he was treated harsher because when he showed investigators surveillance footage from bar cameras, he fast-forwarded segments of the assault(s).

The appellate court found there was “sufficient evidence” presented at trial and the jury’s decision was reasonable. Regarding sentence, the appellate court ruled that Maglietta was not treated harsher because he owned the bar, but his fast-forwarding of the video showed a lack of remorse and was appropriately considered by the sentencing judge.

Lee, 42, also argued his conviction was against the weight of the evidence and his sentence was excessive. The appellate court denied his appeal.

Ellis, 35, argued that his sentence was excessive and that testimony about alleged gang affiliation should not have been allowed at trial.

There was no objection at trial to that testimony so it cannot be reviewed, the appellate court ruled.

Rodriguez-Cruz, 29, argued that he only committed a simple assault because he threw one punch.

The appellate court ruled, based on testimony, that Rodriguez-Cruz was present for the attack, did nothing to stop it, helped carry the unconscious victim and delivered the “final punch” to the victim’s face.

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