×

City man pleads guilty to rape, sexual assault

An Altoona man on Thursday was sentenced to a state correctional institution for the sexual assault of his girlfriend, who police said, was “extremely intoxicated” when the incident occurred.

Police on the morning of Dec. 20, 2019, found William Robert Gibson, 52, in his car with the women at the rear of his home in the 1900 block of 11th Avenue.

The woman was so intoxicated she couldn’t understand commands issued by police, and they transported her to UPMC Altoona for treatment, according to the affidavit of probable cause filed in the case.

In the meantime, Gibson was interviewed by officers. He told them the woman was his girlfriend and that whatever happened, it was consensual.

However, when the victim became more aware after several hours in the hospital, she told investigators “she didn’t consent with anyone to have sex that night.”

Tests showed her blood-alcohol level to be 0.27, more than three times the level at which a person is presumed to be intoxicated.

Blair County President Judge Elizabeth A. Doyle accepted a plea agreement in which Gibson was sentenced to a term of five to 10 years in a state correctional institution followed by 10 years of supervision.

Gibson pleaded to rape of an unconscious victim, a first-degree felony, and sexual assault, a felony of the second degree.

He will be required to register for life as a sex offender with the Pennsylvania State Police.

The victim of the assault, in a short statement to Doyle, said the assault caused both her and her family grief.

“I just want the court to know I hope he knows the pain he caused me. He’ll have to live with this the rest of his life.”

Gibson also addressed the court, stating, “I apologize for everything … for the pain I have caused.”

The judge stated Gibson is to have no contact with the victim or her family, and she ordered him to undergo alcohol and drug treatment as part of his sentence.

At the time of the incident, Gibson was required to register as a sex offender due to a 2009 indecent assault plea.

The day of the incident with the girlfriend, police also investigated a complaint from Gibson’s wife that he had assaulted her by knocking her to the ground and kicking her two or three times.

At the time of the assault, she identified Gibson as her attacker, but during the preliminary hearing in that case held Jan. 9, 2020, the wife said she could not identify the assailant.

Magisterial District Justice Ben Jones at the time dismissed the charges involving Gibson’s wife.

It was after the charges were dropped that Gibson was arrested for the sexual assault of his girlfriend.

NEWSLETTER

Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
   

COMMENTS

Starting at $4.39/week.

Subscribe Today