An Altoona sex offender paid a friend $50 in food stamps to let him use his address, according to testimony Wednesday at Central Court.
Donald E. Guess, 42, is accused of failing to register his actual address with state police as required by Megan's Law. According to records, Guess is a 10-year registrant under Megan's Law stemming from a guilty plea for a 2007 indecent assault of a child less than 13 years old.
Altoona police arrested Guess on Nov. 14 after an investigation revealed he was living in the Bellwood area while claiming an Altoona address.
During Guess' preliminary hearing Wednesday, a witness and friend of Guess' told Magisterial District Judge Jeffrey P. Auker that Guess approached him in September and asked if he could use the man's Beale Avenue apartment to receive his mail. The friend told the court he told Guess he could and later learned Guess was a registered sex offender.
The witness testified Guess gave him $50 in food stamps to let him use the address but once he learned Guess had to register as a sex offender, he changed his mind about letting Guess use the address.
The witness said he knew Guess was living in Bellwood with his fiance and that Guess stopped by every day or so to get his mail.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Wade Kagarise's questions revealed Guess never stayed at the apartment he registered with state police as his address on Sept. 18 after his release from jail in Cambria County.
Assistant Public Defender Jason Sabol attempted to paint the food stamps transaction as a rent payment, prompting Kagarise to argue that didn't mean Guess actually stayed at the apartment.
"I pay $50 a year to rent a post office box," Kagarise said. "That doesn't mean I live in it."
Auker agreed police showed enough evidence to send the case to Blair County Court. Bail for Guess was kept at 10 percent of $75,000 bail and he was returned to Blair County Prison with his next court date set for January.
Mirror Staff Writer Greg Bock is at 946-7458.