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Teen to get psych exam

September 29, 1999

A 14-year-old Pennsylvania boy who admitted fondling a little girl while her father was nearby coaching a baseball practice in June was sent to a Cumberland, Md., hospital for a psychiatric evaluation Wednesday.

"I need to know the history of this boy," said Washington County Circuit Judge John H. McDowell during the juvenile court hearing. "It's a very serious case and I have too many questions."

Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Duane Gigeous told McDowell that the incident occurred June 17 in Hagerstown.

The girl's father, who was coaching a youth baseball team, had his 5-year-old daughter with him that day, Gigeous said. The father told police his child had been playing with some other children in his view when he saw her walk behind a dugout with an older boy.

Later the little girl told her father that a man had "put his hands down her pants," Gigeous said.

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Gigeous said the boy initially denied touching the little girl, saying he was just there to watch his cousin play ball. But later, he told police that he got "a feeling and couldn't control it," Gigeous said.

The father told McDowell that he and his family want the boy to get counseling.

"His family has been very up front and wants to do what's right," the father said. "I trust the court to make the right decision."

The boy, who was not represented by an attorney, was silent.

McDowell ordered that the boy undergo a psychiatric evaluation at the Thomas Finan Hospital in Cumberland.

- Marlo Barnhart

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