Arnold man to stand trial for alleged rape
An Arnold man was ordered on Thursday to stand trial for allegedly raping a 17-year-old Pittsburgh girl after keeping her captive for hours last July.
It was the second time in five months that rape, kidnapping and other charges were held against Aaron M. McFadden, 21, along the 1300 block of Fourth Avenue in the same incident.
In September, after a preliminary hearing, those charges were held forcourt against the suspect.
But in January, a Westmoreland County Court judge ordered a new preliminary hearing because the audio recording of that hearing failed. The judge said the recording was necessary to preserve his rights at trial.
Therefore, on Thursday a second preliminary hearing was held in New Kensington.
Charges of rape, kidnapping and all but one of the other charges were again held for court.
However, this time, based on differing testimony, District Judge Frank J. Pallone Jr. dismissed a charge of aggravated assault with a weapon.
That's because on Thursday the victim said she couldn't remember being hit by a handgun, something she testified to last September.
The victim testified on Thursday that she left her phone charger in a room where she bumped into McFadden. She described him as her former boyfriend with whom she once had a sexual relationship.
The girl testified that McFadden closed the door to an upstairs bedroom and wouldn't allow her to leave despite her repeated requests to do so.
She testified that the two scuffled.
At one point McFadden “pulled a pistol” and she grabbed a hammer.
“I held the hammer and he held the gun. And then everything went black, and I was on the bed. My head hurt,” she said.
She testified that she tried to fight off McFadden, but he tore off her clothes and raped her.
The victim testified he used her belt to punish her and choked with a plastic bag. McFadden ordered her to keep the incident quiet and threatened to shoot her and throw her body in an alley.
The incident lasted at least six hours, the victim testified, and ended only when the suspect was asleep at about 4 a.m. and she slipped away.
The girl said she had back abrasions, a bruised arm, split lip and blurred vision.
Officials said she was tested for sexual assault at Allegheny Valley Hospital, Harrison. Court-appointed defense attorney Valerie Veltri argued Thursday that the weapons charge should be dismissed.
Assistant District Attorney Judy Petrush countered that there was more than enough circumstantial evidence to hold that charge for court.
“She fights so hard to get out of that room” and is knocked down, she argued.
The victim “couldn't say that she saw the gun hitting his head, but she wakes up on the bed and her head hurts,” Petrush said. “She wasn't hurting before she winds up on the bed.”
Veltri disagreed. “I would think the victim would remember a gun coming up to hit her,” she said.
Veltri also asked the girl if anyone heard the fighting. She said no.
Pallone dismissed the aggravated assault with a weapon charge. He held for court charges of forcible rape, kidnapping, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, and criminal mischief. McFadden is scheduled to be formally arraigned in Westmoreland County Court in April. He is in the county jail without bond awaiting trial.
Chuck Biedka is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4711 or email@example.com.
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