Man faces jail time after guilty pleas

HOLLIDAYSBURG – An Altoona man will spend 10 to 24 months in the Blair County Prison after pleading guilty Friday to indecent assault charges in two criminal cases.

John Scott Knab, 51, 1318 Windbrook St., was scheduled Friday for a jury trial in one of the cases in which he was accused of inappropriate touching and finger penetration of a girl while she was 5 to 7 years old.

In that case, Logan Township police charged Knab based on information from the girl who was 15 years old when the charges were filed in March 2013. The girl told police that Knab began molesting her when she was in kindergarten. That’s when the girl went to a relative’s house after school and on weekends, and Knab, at that time, was living with her relative.

In court on Friday, the teenager shook her head no when asked if she wanted to make a statement before Judge Timothy M. Sullivan imposed Knab’s sentence.

Assistant District Attorney Illissa Zimmerman told Sullivan that the teenager was agreeable to the proposed sentence in connection with the guilty plea. Zimmerman also said she reached the mother of the alleged victim in the second case and was advised to proceed with the plea agreement.

In the second case, a woman in her mid-20s told police that Knab molested her when she was 3 to 6 years old, while she and her mother lived with him. The woman told police that the abuse stopped when she was 6 years old because that’s when she and her mother moved out of the residence.

In addition to jail time, Knab’s plea will subject him to 15 years of registration requirements on the state’s sexual offender registry. He also must undergo a sexual offender assessment that will determine if registration requirements should continue for life.

Knab told the judge that he understood the registration requirements associated with his guilty plea.

“I plead guilty to these charges because the risk was too high,” Knab said.

His cases involved multiple charges that were dropped in exchange for guilty pleas to indecent assault involving a child less than 13 years old. If Knab had been tried and found guilty of the multiple charges, a judge could have imposed more jail time and ordered Knab to serve it in a state prison.

The guilty plea arrangement also allowed Knab to delay his entry to prison until Oct. 10 so he could take care of personal commitments. Before reporting to jail and after release, Knab is to have no contact with the victims, Sullivan ordered.

Mirror Staff Writer Kay Stephens is at 946-7456.