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Ligonier man could serve 20 years for sex assault

| Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, 12:02 a.m.

A repeat sex offender will serve up to 20 years in prison for molesting a young girl in 2010.

David Lee Stouffer, 26, of Ligonier Borough was sentenced Friday to serve 10 to 20 years behind bars and 14 years on probation.

Westmoreland County Judge Debra Pezze said the sentence could have been harsher but that she accepted the recommendation of prosecutors, who proposed a revised penalty based on the wishes of the victim's family.

“The victim's mother wrote a letter and said she does not believe jail is appropriate,” said Assistant District Attorney Judy Petrush. “She did not want the matter to proceed to trial.”

Stouffer in February pleaded guilty to attempted aggravated assault, indecent assault and child endangerment.

In return for Stouffer dropping a request to withdraw a guilty plea and agreeing to a finding that he was a sexually violent predator, Petrush proposed cutting the prison sentence by two years and making the probationary period longer.

Stouffer will not be punished for violating his probation on another sex case he was convicted of in 2005. In that case, Stouffer was convicted of molesting a child and served seven years on probation.

In the most recent case, police said Stouffer had inappropriate sexual contact with a 9-year-old girl between Aug. 1 and Nov. 30, 2010.

Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or rcholodofsky@tribweb.com.

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