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Testimony: Journal found by girl's mom led to rape charges against Salem man

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By Amanda Dolasinski
Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A journal detailing an alleged sexual assault that was discovered by the mother of an Export girl led to charges against a Salem Township man, according to court testimony Tuesday.

At a preliminary hearing Tuesday, Export District Judge Charles Conway held for court charges against James Zahorsky, 56, of Salem Township, filed by Murrysville police six to seven years after the alleged attack.

“Mr. Zahorsky denies the accusations,” defense attorney Jeff Monzo said.

The girl, now 14, became emotional as she testified about the alleged assault, which she said occurred in the summer of either 2006 or 2007. As a matter of policy, the Tribune-Review does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault.

“I was embarrassed of myself,” the girl testified.

The girl said she told two friends about the alleged attack, but asked them not to tell anyone else.

The girl's mother found her journal last year. The mother asked her daughter about an entry, which the girl said was written within the last year, detailing the alleged assault.

“I told her what happened to me,” the girl said. “I thought about telling her (previously). I thought it would make things harder for her.”

Zahorsky is charged with child rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault, corruption of minors and endangering the welfare of a child. He is free on $10,000 unsecured bond.

According to court documents, Zahorsky allegedly took the girl to a restaurant in Murrysville with his cousin. The men got “very drunk” and gave the girl money to play in a game room at the restaurant.

The three left and went to the girl's home in Murrysville, where Zahorsky prepared Ramen noodles for her. The girl said she spilled the noodles on her shirt and went to her room to change.

Zahorsky followed her while his cousin remained outside on a porch and he allegedly assaulted her in the girl's bedroom, according to a criminal complaint.

Amanda Dolasinski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6220.

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