Medical emergency postpones Kittanning man's sex abuse hearing
KITTANNING — A 41-year-old Kittanning man, who had been incarcerated in Armstrong County Jail on a string of felony sex charges involving a 15-year-old Armstrong County girl, missed his preliminary hearing Wednesday as a result of being rushed to an area hospital overnight because of an undisclosed medical condition.
Gregory Alan Shaffer, whose last known address was on Robinson Street, had been charged with sending sexually explicit messages to the 15-year-old and was scheduled to appear before District Judge James Owen on more recent charges involving the same girl.
Those charges include involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault and corruption of minors.
According to the criminal complaint, those charges stem from a two-day period beginning on April 5 when Shaffer took the girl to the Holiday Inn Express in East Franklin.
According to the most recent complaint, Shaffer allegedly had sexual contact with the girl on numerous occasions during that time until they were discovered by police on April 7.
The girl revealed that information to police during an interview on June 27. Shaffer denied any involvement with the girl.
Arresting officer state Trooper Brian Wolfe said Wednesday that there are likely to be additional charges filed against Shaffer in this case.
Shaffer was initially arrested on April 24 for harboring the teen and lying to police about her whereabouts but posted his $20,000 bail several days later.
The Leader Times does not reveal the names of juveniles who are victims of crimes.
While he was out on bail, Shaffer re-established contact with the girl through Facebook, sending her sexually explicit messages, the criminal complaint alleges.
On Wednesday, Wolfe did not disclose Shaffer's medical condition or the name of the hospital where the defendant was taken.
However, according to a court order issued early Tuesday — just hours before Shaffer was rushed to the hospital — President Judge Kenneth Valasek ordered that Shaffer be released from jail on his own recognizance on July 26 so that he could be admitted to ACMH Hospital for pre-surgery procedures and admission.
According to the order, after release from the hospital, Shaffer will be confined to his residence under electronic monitoring and will not be permitted to have contact with any female under 18.
Shaffer's preliminary hearing has been rescheduled for September. He is being represented by Public Defender Preston Younkins.
Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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