New Castle News

Closer Look

September 9, 2013

West Pittsburg man sentenced

NEW CASTLE — A West Pittsburg man who raped a teenager could spend the next decade in jail.

Thomas Engle Jr., 43, of 951 Ninth St., was sentenced Friday by Lawrence County Common Pleas Court Judge Thomas Piccione.

Initially facing 110 charges, Engle pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of aggravated indecent assault and one count of statutory sexual assault of a victim more than 11 years younger than himself.

On the aggravated indecent assault charge, Engle was sentenced to three and a half to 10 years in a state correctional facility with credit for 427 days served.

On the statutory sexual assault charge, he was sentenced to five years probation. As a condition of parole, he is to have no contact with the victim and must undergo sexual offenders counseling and treatment.

The sentences are to be served consecutively.

He also was ordered to pay costs of prosecution and provide a DNA sample.

Although the Sexual Offenders Assessment Board found he is not a violent sexual offender, he will be required to register as a sexual offender when he is released from prison. He must provide the Pennsylvania state police with his address, place of employment, photograph, phone numbers and email address. Piccione told Engle he must register annually for the rest of his life.

The victim was not present at the sentencing.

Engle was represented by attorney Bradley Olson of the public defender’s office. Jonathan Miller, assistant district attorney, was the prosecutor.

Engle initially was charged by New Castle police with 10 counts each of rape, rape by threat of forcible compulsion, statutory sexual assault, indecent assault by forcible compulsion, corruption of minors, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse by forcible compulsion, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse under threat of forcible compulsion, sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault without consent, aggravated indecent assault by forcible compulsion and indecent assault without consent of other.

According to court documents, Engle repeatedly raped a teenage girl over a two-year period and threatened to kill her family if she said anything.

Police said the girl was about 13 when the assaults began.

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