HOLLIDAYSBURG - An Altoona man has been placed on five years' probation because of his attempts to indecently assault an 11-year-old girl in 2010.
Blair County Judge Hiram A. Carpenter imposed the sentence Friday on Robert James Sprankle Jr., 41, of 2208 10th St.
The judge's order, filed Wednesday in the Blair County Court, also designated Sprankle as a sexually violent predator under Megan's Law, which will require him to register his name and address with police for life.
While Sprankle entered a guilty plea to attempted indecent assault, a first-degree misdemeanor charge, Carpenter cautioned him that failing to register with police is a felony offense.
Sprankle will be required to undergo a mental health evaluation and to participate in a sexual offenders treatment program like that offered through Project Point of Light in Clearfield County.
Carpenter said he was not ordering Sprankle to participate in Project Point of Light but said he would be required to undergo treatment through that agency or an agency like it.
Sprankle gave a ride to a young girl on Oct. 27, 2010, and during the trip, he turned in the wrong direction, authorities said. He then made advances toward the girl, but when she told him to stop and emphasized she was only 11 years old, he ceased what he was attempting to do to her.
The child's relatives, police and Blair County Children, Youth & Families became involved, and Sprankle was charged with attempted indecent assault, indecent assault and indecent exposure.
He entered his guilty plea in June 2011.
A Megan's Law hearing was held Thursday during which William Allenbaugh of the Pennsylvania Sexual Offenders Assessment Board - and the founder of Project Point of Light - recommended that Sprankle be designated a sexually violent predator.
A sexual offender treatment expert, Kathie S. Phelps of Altoona, testified for Sprankle.
The judge also said that he would have no objection if Sprankle wants to undergo counseling with Phelps in addition to participation in a treatment program.