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Williamsport man pleads guilty to sexually abusing a minor

December 10, 2012|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com

A Williamsport man faces up to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty Monday in Washington County Circuit Court to charges he sexually abused two girls.

Jason Meredith Hitchner, 30, pleaded guilty to sexual abuse of a minor and a second-degree sex offense in exchange for six other related offenses being dismissed. Judge Daniel P. Dwyer deferred sentencing and ordered a presentence investigation.

The state is asking for a 15-year sentence with the defense free to argue for a lesser sentence, Assistant State’s Attorney Brett Wilson said. Due to the nature of the felony charges, a mental health evaluation will also be performed, he said.

In September authorities became aware of possible sexual abuse of two preteen girls, Wilson told Dwyer. The girls had told family members and were later interviewed at the Safe Place Child Advocacy Center, he said.

The sexual abuse took place over a period of years, Wilson said. The younger of the two girls told investigators that Hitchner had sexual contact with her on the night of Sept. 4-5.

The older girl told investigators the most recent incident of abuse took place prior to the start of school this past summer, Wilson said.

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