Police say city man molested young girl

An Altoona man allegedly molested a young girl over a 2-year span, Altoona police said.

Bruce R. Leaper, 56, of 810 Bell Ave. is accused of sexually assaulting the girl beginning when she was 7 years old, Altoona police noted in criminal charges filed Tuesday before Magisterial District Judge Jeffrey Auker.

Leaper came to the attention of police in the early morning hours of March 20, 2013, when the girl’s mother called 911 to report seeing Leaper hovering above the girl, his hands beneath her blanket, as they slept on a couch during an overnight visit to a relative’s home. Police arrived at the home just before 6 a.m. and were told Leaper had fondled the girl, something she said happened twice starting at about 3:30 a.m.

The girl put extra blankets over her after the first alleged incident to guard against another sexual assault, police said.

Leaper was the boyfriend of a relative, according to the charges.

A subsequent interview with the girl indicated Leaper had been fondling the girl for two years, when she was between 7 and 9 years old, police said.

Police pointed out in the affidavit of probable cause that the girl told investigators that Leaper’s alleged fondling hurt, and he warned her not to tell anyone or “we’ll both get in trouble.”

Leaper allegedly also asked the girl if she watched pornography and if she “knew what a boy’s ‘thing’ looks like.”

When questioned by Altoona police, Leaper allegedly admitted he was in the living room March 20 and said he provided “a massage” to the girl’s mother while naked, police said.

Leaper allegedly admitted he asked the girl if she watched pornography and said he enjoyed “rocking” the child and that he enjoyed having her sit on his lap because she liked the attention.

Leaper also told police he watched the girl masturbate on the couch, police said.

Leaper was placed in Blair County Prison after his arrest Tuesday. Bail was set at $15,000 cash and a preliminary hearing is slated for March 19 at Central Court.