Accused sex offender to face trial
William H. Replogle’s fate is in the hands of Blair County Court after Magisterial District Judge Daniel C. DeAntonio found Friday that prosecutors met the burden of proof needed to send two sexual assault cases against him to trial.
Replogle is accused of sexually assaulting two women and offering to forgive their rent in exchange for sexual favors.
Replogle, 80, was arraigned Feb. 18 on felony charges of aggravated indecent assault without consent, aggravated indecent assault of forcible compulsion, intimidation of witnesses and encouraging prostitution and misdemeanor two counts of indecent assault, indecent exposure, and simple assault and summary harassment.
The Roaring Spring resident appeared before DeAntonio for two preliminary hearings, one for each alleged victim.
Replogle allegedly touched and repeatedly propositioned a victim for sex in 2019.
That victim described multiple encounters with Replogle, whom she alleged grabbed her breast during a visit to her residence.
The victim also accused Replogle of asking her for sex in exchange for rent six or seven times. She said that at one point, he asked her to lie in bed and cuddle with him.
When she refused to have sex with him, he allegedly threatened to evict her.
In one instance, Replogle allegedly offered her $300 to keep quiet, but she refused to accept the money.
Defense attorney Thomas M. Dickey asked her why she waited until this year to report the alleged incidents.
Dickey also asked the victim whether she was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the alleged incidents, to which the victim said no.
Another victim took the stand to describe her alleged abuse.
The victim, like the previous one, stated that Replogle offered to forgive her rent in exchange for sexual favors.
This victim, however, described more extensive abuse, during which she alleged Replogle touched her vagina and breast and pinned her to her couch, causing her physical pain. She also said he exposed his penis, forcing her to touch it.
“That’s not right,” the victim stated during the preliminary hearing, visibly emotional. “Nobody has that right to do that to you,” she said.
This victim also said Replogle had called her repeatedly, leaving strange voicemails. She said she turned those messages over to the police.
Dickey asked this victim if she tried to run, to which she replied that she tried to pull away but couldn’t and that Replogle had locked the door to impede her from leaving.
“I was scared —-less,” the victim said.
Dickey asked whether she called police, but District Attorney Nichole Smith argued such a question was inappropriate as it put into question the victim’s credibility.
As with the other victim, Dickey asked if she was under the influence at the time of the incident, to which she replied she was not.
Dickey asked DeAntonio to dismiss the charges “all in their entirety,” but DeAntonio ruled that there was enough evidence for the cases to go to trial.
After the hearings, Dickey said he firmly believes in his client’s innocence.
“First of all, he is presumed innocent; people forget that,” Dickey said. “We believe the witnesses to be untruthful.”
Mirror Staff Writer Andrew Mollenauer is at 814-946-7428.