Ukrainian man who posed as Harrisburg student gets more prison time

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A 24-year-old Ukrainian man who posed as a teenager to attend Harrisburg High School will spend up to 23 months in prison for having sex with a student and other charges including records tampering and theft.

Artur Samarin was sentenced Tuesday in Dauphin County Court to at least 11-and-a-half months in prison. He still faces federal prison time and deportation.

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Artur Samarin (submitted)

Samarin was sentenced last week on federal charges of passport fraud and social security fraud. U.S. District Judge Sylvia Rambo ordered that sentence to run consecutively to his state sentence.

He pleaded guilty to those charges and state counts of statutory sexual assault, tampering with public records, identity theft, theft by unlawful taking, and conspiracy.

Authorities say Samarin was 19 years old when he used falsified documents and the name Asher Potts to enroll as a freshman at the high school. The sexual relationship with the 15-year-old student, they say, occurred in 2014 when he was 22 years old.

In a telephone interview with ABC27 News, he said he was seeking a better life.

Stephayne and Michael Potts during an April interview with ABC27 News. (WHTM File)
Stephayne and Michael Potts during an April interview with ABC27 News. (WHTM File)

The Dauphin County couple who claimed Samarin as their adopted son, Stephayne and Michael Potts, face state fraud charges for allegedly taking more than $13,000 in public food and medical assistance and federal charges of harboring an illegal alien.

Stephayne Potts faces additional federal charges of social security fraud and confiscating a passport for forced labor and services.

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