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Convict from Lemont Furnace termed predator, could serve 50 years in jail

| Friday, Aug. 30, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A Fayette County man convicted in April of sexually assaulting two young girls was sentenced Thursday to serve a maximum of 50 years in prison.

Joseph M. Trifiro, 29, of Lemont Furnace was found guilty of two counts each of aggravated indecent assault and indecent assault after a jury trial.

Following an evaluation by Herbert Hays, a member of the Pennsylvania Sexual Offenders Assessment Board, Judge Steve Leskinen imposed the designation of sexually violent predator on Trifiro.

The girls were 4 and 6 two years ago when Trifiro, a family friend, touched their “privates” and “hurt” them, they testified at trial.

Trifiro denied the charges in April and again on Thursday.

“One day those kids are going to tell the truth ... I love them to death. I would do anything in the world for those kids. I can't be remorseful for something I didn't do,” he told Leskinen.

A woman who said Trifiro once dated her daughter for 12 years and was regularly permitted to care for young nieces and nephews said she never heard of any inappropriate behavior on his part.

During his trial, the jury learned of Trifiro's earlier conviction for a sex offense in Ohio.

It was because he was charged for the second time that Assistant District Attorney Linda Cordaro informed the court after trial that she intended to pursue a maximum sentence.

Leskinen noted that the case was a “difficult” one for the trial, involving children so young.

Hays' testimony was found to be “credible,” he said, in handing down the 25-to-50-year term for aggravated indecent assault.

He sentenced Trifiro to the same term, to be served concurrently, for the indecent assault convictions.

As a condition of the sexually violent predator determination, Trifiro will have to register with police annually for the rest of his life.

Mary Pickels is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-5401 or mpickels@tribweb.com.

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