Man enters guilty pleas in child sex assault case

HOLLIDAYSBURG — A Blair County man accused of sexually assaulting an

11-year-old girl has entered guilty pleas to charges of simple assault, corruption of minors, terroristic threats and endangering the welfare of a child.

Vincent C. Crowley, 26, who has been in the Blair County Prison for almost 13 months, offered the pleas Monday in exchange for a recommended sentence of time served to 23.5 months in jail, followed by eight years’ probation.

Crowley’s sentencing date is expected to be scheduled soon before President Judge Elizabeth Doyle, who accepted the plea and deferred sentencing until a time when the girl’s mother could attend.

Assistant District Attorney Amanda Jacobson advised Doyle that the mother wasn’t available to attend court on Monday but asked if she could be present at the sentencing.

Defense attorney John Siford asked Doyle to consider changing Crowley’s bail from $75,000 cash to $75,000 unsecured, permitting his release from prison in light of the time-served portion of his sentence. Crowley, who has been in jail since Dec. 21, 2016, has no money for bail, Siford said.

Doyle agreed to the bail change but directed Crowley into the court’s pretrial services program and to comply with any requirements.

She also advised that the victim and her family should be notified of Crowley’s pending release from prison.

Altoona police charged Crowley in December 2016 with aggravated indecent assault of a child, unlawful contact with a child and additional offenses based on the alleged abuse of the girl in 2014.

Altoona police, in their charges, indicate that Crowley, after the assault, threatened her by saying: “If you tell anybody, I am going to kill you.”

Altoona police indicated that the allegations against Crowley surfaced in August 2014, shortly after he moved to Alabama. When contacted in Alabama, Crowley told a police investigator that he had no intention of returning to Pennsylvania.

In court on Monday, Crowley told Doyle he has always lived in Blair County, except for he months he lived in Alabama, from July 2014 to March 2015.

Crowley also advised the judge that he would live in Altoona with his mother after his release from prison.

Mirror Staff Writer Kay Stephens is at 946-7456.