Dayton man to stand trial on sexual assault charges
A Dayton man is headed to criminal court on charges of statutory sexual assault, indecent assault, corruption of minors and endangering the welfare of children stemming from two separate incidents that allegedly occurred in and around Rural Valley during the past five years.
Michael P. Shaffer, 33, is accused of having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl for several months in 2010 and also of molesting an 8-year-old girl in 2007. The Leader Times does not identify juveniles who are the victim of a crime.
Judge Samuel Goldstrohm said witnesses for both sides testified during a preliminary hearing on Monday morning.
“Both victims testified and gave great detail in the accusations,” said Goldstrohm. “(Defense attorney Linda Ziebicki) also called some family members and friends (of Shaffer) to testify on behalf of the defense.”
In early October, the victim of the first incident—who was reportedly friends with Shaffer's daughter—told state police that Shaffer touched her inappropriately five years earlier when she slept over at Shaffer's home in Rural Valley. Shaffer's ex-wife confirmed to police that the victim was on a cheerleading squad with Shaffer's daughter and that the girl had spent at least one night at the house.
According to the criminal complaint, the victim said she was told when she stayed at Shaffer's to sleep in a room by herself. She claims Shaffer entered the room in the middle of the night and assaulted her before instructing her not to tell anyone what had occurred.
When police interviewed Shaffer in October, he admitted that his daughter had been friends with the victim and that it's possible she had slept at his house four or five years prior, although he denied any indecent contact.
In 2010, Shaffer allegedly began a sexual relationship with the 15-year-old daughter of his neighbor's girlfriend. Shaffer and the girl reportedly engaged in consensual sex at multiple locations including the Cowanshannock home of the girl's family and Shaffer's house, where the girl moved that November.The girl's mother told police last fall that Shaffer had slept in the same bed with her daughter on several occasions and that the girl eventually moved in with him.
Shaffer admitted to police that he had shared a bed with the girl but denied any sexual relationship.
He was placed in Armstrong County Jail last Tuesday and released on $25,000 bond.
The case will now move on to the Armstrong County Courts.
Tim Karan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Armstrong County Jail warden resigns
- Funds needed to designate Allegheny River as a Pennsylvania Water Trail
- Ford City will advertise for police chief, officers this week
- Worthington American Legion to host open house, spaghetti dinner
- Seneca Masonic Lodge marks milestone
- Gather up the family for spooky stories in Ford City
- Future of East Brady’s Riverfest in question
- Ford City could soon have a police chief
- Reopening of Armstrong County locks with public, private funding made for ‘wonderful’ boating season
- ALDI to open in East Franklin
- Talent show, concert to benefit Kittanning man