HOLLIDAYSBURG - An Altoona man who sexually assaulted a teenage girl has been sent to a state correctional institution for 15-30 years by Blair County Judge Wade Kagarise.
Frank Richard Farino, 51, was accused last December of forcing himself on a 17-year-old visitor to his home in the 200 block of Sixth Avenue.
Farino was sentenced on involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and aggravated indecent assault counts.
His criminal charges were listed Monday for a jury trial, but when it came time to select a jury, Farino and his attorney Robert Donaldson of Hollidaysburg agreed to accept a plea agreement hammered out with Blair County Assistant District Attorney Derek Elensky and First Assistant District Attorney Jackie Bernard.
Bernard presented the plea agreement to Kagarise.
While the sentence may seem to be lengthy, Donaldson said after the hearing that Farino agreed to it because if he went to trial and was found guilty, he would face a mandatory 25-year minimum prison sentence under state law because this would be his second conviction for child sexual abuse under Megan's Law.
Farino is already a Megan's Law registrant, requiring him to register with police as a child sexual offender.
State court records show in 2003 Farino was charged with involuntary deviate sexual intercourse in Cambria County. On Aug. 10, 2004, he was sentenced to nine to 24 months for the offense and three to 12 months for indecent assault of a child under 13.
In 1993, Farino had been arrested for indecent assault of a child under 14, but all of those charges were eventually dismissed.
As to the most recent charges, Farino accepted responsibility for his actions, Donaldson said, pointing out a mitigating factor in the case.
"This (the 15-year minimum) is an appropriate resolution," Donaldson said.
According to the criminal affidavit of probable cause, the 17-year-old Altoona girl came to his house as a visitor on April 7, 2013.
She was there to watch pay-per-view wrestling with the Farino family.
Farino began to make sexual advances toward the girl, and she left the home.
But she returned, and when she went to the basement of the home, Farino was there and refused to let her go back upstairs to the living area.
He assaulted her in several ways at that point while physically blocking her path, pinning her against a dryer and holding her.
Eventually she was able to flee back upstairs and reported the attack to her mother.
Farino was asked by Kagarise if he was guilty of the offenses against him, and he answered "some."
The defendant chose not to speak when the judge asked if he had anything to say.
Kagarise also ordered him to pay $4,459 for a DNA test conducted at a state police laboratory.
Farino must still go through an evaluation by the Pennsylvania Sexual Offender Assessment Board to determine if he is a violent sexual predator in need of lifetime registration with police.