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Connellsville man held for trial in child molestation

| Friday, Aug. 2, 2013, 1:21 a.m.

A Connellsville man will stand trial because he allegedly molested an 11-year-old girl.

Lonnie Dale Wingrove Jr., 29, of 1150 Breakneck Road was charged with aggravated indecent assault and indecent assault of a person less than 13 years of age on July 25 before District Judge Ronald Haggerty Jr.

Wingrove was accused of tickling a girl while she was lying on a couch and watching television in a Breakneck Road home between 3 and 5 a.m. May 16.

The girl testified during Wingrove's preliminary hearing on Thursday that she was sleeping on a loveseat when Wingrove sat next to her, started talking to her and then started tickling her as she was covered with a blanket, but still in her underwear.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, Wingrove started touching her feet and then moved up to her thigh and then started inappropriately tickling her.

“I kept pushing him away,” the girl said.

Wingrove continued inappropriately touching her and whispering to her, “Does it feel good?” according to the complaint. The incident continued for a few minutes and then she told him to stop, which he did.

“He told me not to say anything or he'll get 20 years to life,” the girl said. “He told me if I didn't tell, he'd give me a cellphone.”

The girl said she was upset by what happened, and she left her house early to go to her bus stop the next morning so she wouldn't have to see Wingrove. She added that her mother drove to the bus stop to take her home because she was there too early and she wasn't supposed to go to school that day. The girl then told her mother what happened.

When questioned by the girl's mother, Wingrove said he only tickled the female.

Haggerty held all of Wingrove's charges for trial with his formal arraignment scheduled at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 19 in Courtroom 4 of the Fayette County Courthouse.

Wingrove remains lodged in the Fayette County Prison in lieu of $25,000 bond.

Mark Hofmann is a staff writer with Trib Total Media.

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