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Kittanning man withdraws plea after judge rejects sentence recommendation

| Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

A 36-year-old Kittanning man on Tuesday withdrew his guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge of assaulting a 4-year-old girl because a judge did not accept terms of an agreement that called for him to be sentenced to probation and no jail time.

William Kenneth Brown pleaded guilty in May to the reduced charge after having been accused of inappropriately touching a girl in the bedroom of his former Leechburg home last year. Felony charges of indecent and aggravated assault of a child were to be dropped at sentencing as part of the plea worked out with the district attorney.

But President Judge Kenneth Valasek at sentencing in July rejected the plea after the child's parents at the hearing called it too lenient and said that the girl was still suffering from the assault. The hearing was continued on Tuesday, when Brown had the choice of accepting whatever sentence the judge imposed or withdrawing his plea and standing trial on the original charges.

“I'm not guilty,” Brown told the judge.

Valasek granted Brown's request to withdraw his guilty plea. A trial is scheduled on Oct. 6 before Valasek.

Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303 or bbeatty@tribweb.com.

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