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Pa. couple faces incest charges

December 15, 2004|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A letter found more than a year ago in a mobile home has led to a husband and wife being charged by Washington Township police with sexually assaulting the man's daughter over a period of eight years.

The 34-year-old man, who was extradited from Oklahoma earlier this year, was charged with rape of a child, statutory sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault, incest, corruption of minors and criminal conspiracy, according to the criminal complaint filed by township police.

His wife, who is not the victim's biological mother, was charged with the same offenses with the exception of incest, according to court records.

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The man and woman, whose names are being withheld to protect the identity of the child, waived their preliminary hearings Tuesday in Franklin County Central Court. They are scheduled for mandatory arraignment on Jan. 26, Assistant District Attorney Nancy Meyers said.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, the couple lived in a mobile home on Pen Mar Road with four children until they moved in 2003.

On Nov. 3, 2003, the new occupants of the home found a letter in the frame of a water bed that contained a list of 21 sexual positions and a list of sexual devices, the affidavit states. Also in the letter was the name of the victim, which indicated she was involved in sexual activity with her father and stepmother, according to the affidavit.

On July 23, the father was taken into custody by Checotah, Okla., police on an outstanding Pennsylvania warrant and extradited to Franklin County. Washington Township Police Sgt. Vernon Ashway said the warrant was for a burglary charge.

Three weeks after his arrest, the man's wife and three of the children left Oklahoma and returned to the Waynesboro, Pa., area, the affidavit stated. The victim, whom Ashway said is now 13, remained in Oklahoma, where child welfare authorities learned on Aug. 18 that she had been abandoned.

After the man was arrested and the girl located, Ashway said the information from the letter was forwarded to authorities in Oklahoma.

Interviewed by Checotah police last month, the girl was shown the list and alleged that it was "her Dad's list of sex games that they played every night," according to the affidavit. The girl also said her stepmother had tried to recruit other girls over the Internet, according to the affidavit.

The girl described genital piercings and tattoos on her father and said the abuse began when she was 5 years old, the affidavit states. The criminal complaint alleges the abuse occurred between February 1996 and the man's arrest.

Ashway said charges were filed against the couple Thursday and both are now in jail. The girl was still in Oklahoma and the other three children were in foster care, he said.

Staff writer Richard F. Belisle contributed to this story.

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