A Garfield Heights man who pleaded guilty in early April to sexually assaulting several Stow girls said in a jailhouse call later that day that he wanted to withdraw his plea.

Scott Brundage said the Summit County judge could impose a sentence of 3 to 29 years in prison — and he was concerned she’d land on the higher end.

“I didn’t do this s***,” Brundage said in the call. “Why not at least go to trial and have the chance to beat it?”

Prosecutors played this call Tuesday during a hearing about whether Brundage should be permitted to withdraw his guilty pleas. Brundage claims he was coerced by his former attorneys into pleading but prosecutors say he had buyer’s remorse, which isn’t a permissible reason for withdrawing a plea.

Summit County Common Pleas Judge Mary Margaret Rowlands said she will take the matter under advisement.

Prosecutors say the girls ranged in age from 9 to 14 at the time of the incidents. An investigation began when the youngest girl reported in January 2017 that Brundage had sexually assaulted her, police said.

Police determined the girl’s sisters also were assaulted between August and late November 2016. In March 2017, another woman reported that Brundage had also assaulted her daughters.

Brundage accepted a plea agreement with prosecutors April 2 after his trial had started, with a jury picked and opening statements about to begin. He pleaded guilty to rape and five counts of gross sexual imposition. Prosecutors agreed to dismiss several other charges.

On the eve of Brudage’s sentencing, he sent a letter to Rowlands that claimed his court-appointed attorneys, Jacob Will and Will Vasiliou, told him he would be able to walk his 17-year-old daughter down the aisle at her wedding if he accepted the deal. He said he understood this to mean he would get less than five years.

“I feel I was lied to, pressured and bullied into signing those papers,” Brundage said in his letter.

Brundage said when Will and Vasiliou talked to him about a plea, they stood so close to him that he felt intimidated and signed the plea form.

Under the plea agreement, Brundage faced up to 29 years in prison. If convicted of all of the charges against him, he faces life in prison.

Assistant Prosecutors Dan Sallerson and Jennie Shuki called Brundage’s request a delay tactic.

“During the course of proceedings, defendant has exhibited a pattern of delay, perhaps in hopes of weakening the resolve of the minor victims as they must continually reopen the emotional wounds defendant inflicted,” the prosecutors said in a court document.

Rowlands permitted Will and Vasiliou to withdraw as Brundage’s attorneys and appointed Kirk Migdal as his new attorney.

Migdal entered as his only evidence in Brundage’s hearing the letter he sent to Rowlands.

Prosecutors played the jail-house call, made by Brundage to an unidentified woman on the evening of his plea. Brundage asked the woman to tell his attorney he wanted to withdraw his plea.

“She could give me 25 or 3,” Brundage said. “Tell him I’ve thought about it.”

Rowlands said the call provides significant evidence that Brundage had a full understanding of his sentencing options.

“He used the quote, ‘No one knows,’” the judge said. “That significantly contradicts his allegations regarding false promises.”

Will, one of Brundage's former attorneys, refused to answer most of Sallerson’s questions during the hearing, citing attorney-client privilege.

“Despite the fact you are being accused of misconduct?” Sallerson asked.

“I’m aware of the allegation,” Will said.

Will said he has never forced or threatened a client to get him or her to plead.

Vasiliou has moved out of state and was unavailable to attend the hearing.

Sallerson pointed out to Rowlands that Brundage didn’t mention in his jail call being forced to plead.

“He had a clear understanding of what he was facing,” Sallerson said. “He had a change of heart.”

Stephanie Warsmith can be reached at 330-996-3705, swarsmith@thebeaconjournal.com and on Twitter: @swarsmithabj.