City man faces several sexual assault charges

A 29-year-old Altoona man faces allegations he carried on a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl.

Michael J. Vaughn Jr., 1527 18th Ave., was arrested Thursday by Altoona police after an investigation into his alleged relationship with the girl, one police said in court documents began Sept. 12 through text messages.

Police alleged Vaughn, who is married, picked the girl up two days later, and after driving around and talking, Vaughn allegedly parked near Gospel Hill Park. There, police said, the relationship turned physical, with Vaughn being accused of touching the girl, kissing her and telling her that he loved her.

Police said the girl told police that the two continued to exchange text messages, and she “felt she was developing feelings” for Vaughn, Altoona police detective Cpl. Marshall Worling wrote in an affidavit of probable cause filed in the case.

Vaughn allegedly drove the girl to secluded areas around Juniata and Bellwood for sex, and in late September, Vaughn allegedly signed the girl out of school. Police said Vaughn signed her out using his first name and the girl’s last name as his alias. Investigators have obtained a copy of that sign-out sheet, police noted.

On that same day, a friend of the girl allegedly encountered Vaughn and the teenager parked along a dirt road near Bellwood. Police said the girl spoke with the friend, who was riding a dirt bike, and in early January, the witness corroborated the story when he told police about coming across the girl and a man who looked to be 28 to 30 years old. Police said the witness described Vaughn as well as his vehicle and said Vaughn and the girl were in the back seat of the vehicle.

On another day in late September, the girl told police she didn’t go to school but instead was picked up by Vaughn. She told police Vaughn dropped his wife off at work, picked her up and took her back to his home where the two had sex.

Police noted school records indicate the girl was absent from school on the date she gave investigators.

Magisterial District Judge Jeffrey Auker told Vaughn that because of the nature of the charges, which include nine felonies and four misdemeanors, he thought a cash bail of $30,000 was “relatively reasonable.”

Vaughn, who broke into tears as bail was set, is charged with three counts each of felony statutory sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and aggravated indecent assault of a person less than 16 years old, along with three misdemeanor counts of indecent assault and a charge of corruption of minors.

“This is the first time I’ve ever been arrested,” Vaughn said.

Vaughn was lodged in Blair County Prison following his arraignment, and a preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Judge Todd Kelly is slated for Wednesday at Central Court.

Mirror Staff Writer Greg Bock is at 946-7458.