Alleged abuser has bail revoked

Duncansville man, 80, repeatedly contacted victim, prosecutors say

By Phil Ray

Blair County Judge Daniel J. Milliron on Friday revoked the bail of an 80-year-old Duncansville man who is awaiting trial on child sexual abuse charges.

The suspect, James Edward Bryar, has spent the past couple of weeks in the Blair County Prison after prosecutors filed a petition accusing him of repeatedly contacting the alleged victim.

The victim, who recently turned 21, sought police help in January 2017, enabling investigators to record a conversation in which Bryar supposedly admitted his abuse.

When he was arrested, Magisterial District Judge Paula Aigner in Hollidaysburg set bail at $200,000 cash.

Bryar, with the aid of bondsman William Colello, was able to post the $200,000, then was released from prison pending trial.

A condition of his release was that he have no contact with the victim.

Police, however, received a complaint that an “older man” was seen twice meeting with two young females in the parking lot of a Duncansville-area convenience store .

Allegheny Township police officers investigated and came upon Bryar.

Police not only found the victim and another girl, but also cash in the vehicle.

Blair County Assistant District Attorney Amanda Jacobson on Friday intended to show the judge a video from a surveillance camera at the convenience store that recorded him meeting with the victim.

She reported 11 phone calls between Bryar and the victim between Jan. 13, 2018, and March 14.

Jacobson and Bryar’s attorney, John D. Sisto, met with Milliron before the bail revocation hearing began.

The judge reported the two sides were able to agree on a resolution of the matter.

Milliron revoked Bryar’s bail and stated that the suspect would remain in the Blair County Prison.

Bryar initially was placed behind bars when the bondsman pulled his bail subsequent to the filing of the petition for revocation.

Milliron urged the assistant district attorney to move the case toward trial, noting that “people who are not convicted should not be in jail if there are alternatives.”

Jacobson said the case was not yet ready for trial, noting that President Judge Eliza­beth Doyle has scheduled a pretrial hearing for Bryar toward the end of June.

According to a defense petition, Bryar is denying the charges and is challenging the sufficiency of the evidence to be used against him.

Milliron said if Bryar remains in jail without trial for a lengthy period of time, he would consider a defense request for home detention.

The judge did not say how long he is willing to wait.

The prosecution also asked that Bryar’s bail be forfeited, meaning the bonds­man would be required to pay the county $200,000. The judge denied the request.

Bryar is to be tried on 30 charges, including multiple counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, ag­gra­vated indecent assault, endangering the welfare of a child, corruption of a minor, sexual assault and indecent assault.

The abuse allegedly began in 2004, with Bryar committing various offenses against the child while driving her various places, it is charged.

It was reported that he rewarded her with gifts and money, and, as she became older, gave her a vehicle.

The victim was in the courtroom Friday and was kept informed about what was occurring through discussions with Jacobson and Blair County Victim-Wit­ness Coordinator Susan Griep.