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Jeannette worker faces sex assault charges

| Thursday, May 9, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A Jeannette City sanitation worker volunteered to be furloughed this week as Westmoreland County detectives prepared criminal charges against him for the alleged sexual assault of a woman, city officials said.

Scott R. Howard, 46, of Birch Street, was charged by detectives Frank Galilei and Will Brown Tuesday with indecent assault, indecent assault without consent, forcible compulsion and indecent exposure.

Howard assaulted the woman in his home about 7:30 p.m. April 30, detectives said in an affidavit of probable cause filed before District Judge Joseph DeMarchis.

Howard earned $40,474 a year as a garbage collector with the sanitation department until his voluntary layoff, according to city officials.

“We were notified recently by Scott Howard that he wanted to take a voluntary layoff because of personal reasons and in light of the city's financial condition. Pending the outcome of the criminal case, it could impact his future employment status,” said city solicitor Scott Avolio.

Galilie wrote in the affidavit that the woman reported Howard was collecting orders for take-out dinners from a local business when the assault occurred.

The woman said she went to Howard's home to place an additional dinner order and found him on the telephone. When Howard completed the call, the woman reported, he fondled and assaulted her, according to the affidavit.

She “stated that after this occurred ... Mr. Howard told her not to tell anyone,” Galilie wrote.

She reported the assault to city police, who turned the matter over to county detectives.

In an interview with detectives on May 1, Howard confirmed some of the victim's report, the affidavit said.

“Mr. Howard said that (the woman) never said no and that the acts were consensual,” Galilei wrote.

Howard could not be reached for comment.

Howard was released on signature bond, pending a preliminary hearing on June 5 before DeMarchis.

Paul Peirce is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-850-2860 or ppeirce@tribweb.com.

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