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The original item was published from 12/3/2013 11:12:00 AM to 1/4/2014 12:15:00 AM.

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District Attorney

Posted on: November 25, 2013

[ARCHIVED] Commonwealth v. Christ Eugene Harsh

Defendant found guilty by jury this morning of all counts:

1. Two counts of IDSI With a Child

2. Aggravated Indecent Assault

3. Two counts of Indecent Assault

4. Unlawful Contact With Minor

5. Corruption of Minor

6. Indecent Exposure

In early April, 2012, a mother contacted Northwest Regional Police and reported that the child was starting fires. Officer Cleland noted that the child seemed angry and seemed to be holding something back. The child then told Officer Cleland that “Eugene,” the Defendant, touched her inappropriately.

Officer Cleland immediately brought Detective Gregory Wahl into the case and alerted Lancaster County Children and Youth. Detective Wahl arranged for a medical examination of the child and a Forensic Interview at the Lancaster County Children’s Alliance. The child was interviewed by Forensic Interviewer Mary Halye and examined by Julie Stover, CRNP. During the interview the child described various sex acts that the Defendant performed on her. Detective Wahl filed the charges on May 17, 2012.

The Commonwealth obtained permission from Judge Wright to present the child’s testimony at trial through contemporaneous closed-circuit television, so the child did not have to be in the same room with the Defendant during trial. Jury trial began before Judge Wright on Monday, September 30. The Commonwealth presented the testimony of the child victim, Detective Wahl, Officer Cleland, Forensic Interviewer Mary Halye, Nurse Stover, and other witnesses. The Defendant chose not to testify.

The jury retired to deliberate at 2:55 p.m. on Tuesday, October 1. They returned with a verdict (guilty on all counts) at approximately 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, October 2.

The Defendant had been free on bail. Following conviction, the Commonwealth moved to revoke bail. That motion was granted, bail was revoked and reset at $1 million. The Defendant was taken into custody. The Court directed the Commonwealth to prepare an Order referring the Defendant to the Sexual Offender Assessment Board for a determination as to whether he should be classified as a sexually violent predator (SVP). The Court directed that Adult Probation prepare a Pre-Sentence Investigation Report.

The Defendant faces ten to twenty year mandatory sentences on each count of Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse and a five to ten year mandatory sentence on the Aggravated Indecent Assault charge.

A date for sentencing has not been set.

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