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Allegheny County man pleads guilty to sex assaults

Rich Cholodofsky
| Saturday, June 16, 2012, 9:31 a.m.

An Allegheny County man pleaded guilty Wednesday to a sexual assault he committed against a 4-year-old girl nearly two decades ago.

Under the terms of a plea bargain, John Pellegrini, 29, of McKees Rocks, will be sentenced to serve three years probation for sexual offenses involving two victims, including one incident that dates back to 1989.

Authorities said Pellegrini, then 10 years old, took a young girl into the woods in South Huntingdon and touched her in a sexual manner. Pellegrini, when confronted last summer by the allegations, admitted to police he had committed the offense, according to court records.

He also pleaded guilty yesterday to molesting another young girl over a three-year period, beginning in 1996, when he was a teenager.

The offenses occurred when the girls were between the ages of 4 and 6.

The girl who made the allegations of the later assault came forward last summer after disclosing the incidents to a school guidance counselor. The second victim came forward a short time later.

"The girls were very good witnesses," Assistant District Attorney Jackie Knupp said.

Knupp said probation was offered as the sentence for Pellegrini because he was a juvenile when the crimes were committed.

Prosecutors dropped more serious felony charges of rape and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse in return for the guilty plea to a misdemeanor offense of indecent assault.

Pellegrini will be formally sentenced in three months by Westmoreland County Judge John Blahovec.

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