HOLLIDAYSBURG - An Altoona man will spend 25 to 50 years in state prison for indecently assaulting a 12-year-old girl two years ago.
"You are the poster child for the 25-year sentence, and the court does not hesitate to impose it," Blair County Judge Elizabeth Doyle said at Friday's sentencing for Ray Allen Hale.
Hale is "exactly the individual the state Legislature had in mind" when it passed laws mandating a 25-year sentence for repeat child sexual abusers, Doyle said.
Hale, 55, has a record dating back more than two decades. He had to register as a Megan's Law offender for 10 years, and he went through treatment twice.
Despite that, authorities said in March 2011, he sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl who came to his Altoona home with a friend on a snowy, cold afternoon after Hale said he would take the girls to their homes.
According to testimony during his July trial, Hale told the girls to wait in a bedroom. He then entered the room and told an older girl, age 15, to leave, at which point he committed a sexual offense against the younger one.
She testified he raped her. The jury found Hale not guilty of child rape and statutory sexual assault but guilty of indecent assault, a first-degree misdemeanor.
According to Hale's attorney, Assistant Public Defender John Siford, the misdemeanor charge only carries a sentence of 9 to 18 months.
That's where Hale's record entered the picture.
In 1995, Hale pleaded no contest to sexually abusing two young girls.
Assistant District Attorney Dan Kiss argued that Hale's conviction last year for indecent assault represented a second offense under the law and asked that the judge impose a 25- to 50-year sentence.
Hale told the judge, "I have no remorse because I am not guilty of anything."
One of Hale's 1995 victims was in the courtroom for his sentencing, and when he proclaimed he had done nothing, she exited the courtroom and the courthouse.
The judge emphasized Hale had no remorse and that he molested his latest victim even though he'd been through treatment.
The judge also ruled that Hale was a sexually violent predator after hearing testimony from psychologist Corrine Scheuneman, a member of the Sexual Assessment Review Board. Her report also accused Hale of sexually abusing a young boy over several years.
Scheuneman testified that Hale suffers from paraphilia (a sexually deviant condition), which, combined with an antisocial personality made him a high risk to reoffend. Hale declined to participate in Scheuneman's court-ordered review of his case.
Hale, if he ever gets out of prison, will be required to register with police for the rest of his life as a sexual offender.
Siford asked Doyle to toss out the jury's verdict because it appeared inconsistent, with the girl testifying she had been raped and the jury finding only indecent assault. Doyle refused the request.
The defense attorney said the sentence of 25 years was unconstitutional - cruel and unusual punishment.
Siford said Doyle did not have to sentence Hale to a mandatory sentence because Kiss did not provide notice to the defense requesting the long sentence until after conviction. The notice he said should have been given prior to trial.
Kiss said the record shows Hale was on notice that if he rejected a guilty plea and went to trial, he would face the 25-year mandatory sentence. Doyle agreed that notice was given.
Hale is a retired carpet installer with medical issues.
His attorney asked that he be taken to the state correctional institution as quickly as possible.
Mirror Staff Writer Phil Ray is at 946-7468.