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Hearings held in incest case

January 13, 2009|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- A Shippensburg, Pa., man had two preliminary hearings Tuesday in Franklin County Central Court - one for charges that he molested a granddaughter for a period of two years and the second on charges he sexually assaulted his daughter two decades ago.

The 55-year-old man is charged with rape of a child, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and indecent assault involving the granddaughter, according to court records. Charges involving his daughter, the girl's aunt, include rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and incest, said Assistant District Attorney Lauren Sulcove.

The Herald-Mail is withholding the suspect's name to protect the identities of the victims. Magisterial District Judge Kelly Rock ordered him bound over on all charges and scheduled his mandatory arraignment for Feb. 25.

In June 2008, Pennsylvania State Police interviewed the girl, who told them she had been sexually abused by him at his home for about two years. In October, the police interviewed the daughter, now 35, who said she had been repeatedly assaulted by her father between 1983 and 1990.

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"My father did some things to me he shouldn't have," the daughter testified.

The woman testified the abuse continued until she moved out of her father's home and in with her mother at the age of 16. She later told her father that "if he ever touched someone again, I would come forward," she testified.

"I found out he touched my niece," the woman testified.

Defense attorney Shawn Curry questioned the woman on cross-examination about the sequence of incidents of sexual abuse to which she testified.

"I don't have a timeline ... I really don't remember and I still don't want to remember," the woman testified.

The case involving the daughter came after Rock bound the man over on the charges involving the granddaughter. The girl testified she first told her mother and grandmother about the abuse before police were notified.

On cross-examination, the girl denied she had subsequently told anyone that her story of abuse was untrue.

The man, who is out on bail pending the outcome of the case, did not testify in either of the hearings, which were held consecutively before Rock.

Curry asked Rock to dismiss the rape charges in both cases for lack of sufficient evidence that sexual intercourse had taken place, but Rock denied the request.

If convicted of the charges, all but one of which are felonies, the man could spend decades in prison.

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