New Castle News


March 20, 2013

Sharon man sentenced for child rape

NEW CASTLE — A Sharon man charged with multiple counts of sexual offenses with children will spend 7 to 20 years in prison.

James Paul Signer, 28, of 361 N. Water St., Sharon, formerly of Landau Drive, Pulaski Township, pleaded guilty to statutory sexual assault and two counts of rape of a child.

According to court records, Signer assaulted three victims who now are 19, 18, and 16 years old. Police said the girls were ages 8, 7 and 5 when the assaults began, and that they occurred multiple times between 2001 and 2004.

Signer was arrested by state police in August 2010. Charges were filed the next month.

Judge J. Craig Cox sentenced Signer to serve two to six years in a state correctional institution following a guilty plea to statutory sexual assault. He was also sentenced to serve two and one-half to seven years in a state correctional facility for each of two guilty pleas to rape of a child.

He receive credit for 198 days served for the statutory sexual assault plea and credit for 218 days served on each of the rape of a child pleas.

Each sentence is to be served consecutively to the other two. Each sentence will be followed by four years probation during which Signer is to have no contact with the victim.

He is also ordered to pay costs of prosecution and to register with the Sexual Offenders Assessment Board.

Signer initially faced a total of 22 charges on the three cases.

They included statutory sexual assault, incest, three counts of indecent assault of a person less than 13 years of age, corruption of minors and involuntary deviant sexual intercourse with a child. This last charge was dismissed by the court.

On the second case, charges were rape of a child, four counts of aggravated indecent assault of a child, statutory sexual assault and four counts of indecent assault of a person age 13 or younger.

Charges in the third incident were rape of a child, aggravated assault of a child, indecent assault of a child and statutory sexual assault and indecent assault of a person age 13 or younger. The last two charges were withdrawn by the court.

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