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Salem Township man pleads guilty to indecent assault

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Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

A Salem Township man pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges that he had improper sexual contact with a girl.

Police said between June 2008 and last March, John Hilty, 52, repeatedly touched and engaged in sexual activity with his accuser, who was just 8 years old when the assaults started. She is now 12 years old.

When asked by Westmoreland County Judge Blahovec why he pleaded guilty, Hilty said, “Because I did it.”

Hilty pleaded guilty to one felony charge of aggravated indecent assault. Westmoreland County Assistant District Attorney Rebecca Calisti said more serious rape and assault charges will be dismissed in an effort to spare the victim from having to testify at a trial.

The plea deal calls for Hilty to be sentenced to serve five to 10 years in prison. Blahovec will formally sentence Hilty in about three months after a sex offender evaluation is completed to determine if he is to be classified as a sexually violent predator.

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