The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Editorials

June 20, 2012

Shed no tears for molester | Pedophile's spree spanned two decades

Perhaps the headline atop our Friday front page should have said “Monster” instead of “ ‘Molester’ gets 30 years.”

The story left us sad, shocked, confused – and mad as hell. And we suspect it did you, too.

John Hinton, 62, of Somerset, will spend the next 30 to 60 years in state prison. In all likelihood, he’ll die there. Deservedly so.

This horrible individual has admitted to sexual offenses against eight young girls at two Somerset Borough homes in 2010 and 2011. Assistant District Attorney Catherine Ann Primavera told Somerset County Judge John M. Cascio last week that prosecutors suspect there are even more victims – perhaps more than 20 in a sickening spree over more than two decades.

His past has also been under investigation in several other counties, including bordering Westmoreland.

Cascio’s welcome response was to impose three consecutive sentences of 10 to 20 years each.

“When I look at the background and the circumstances you utilized, that you took advantage of, to make these victims available to you, the consecutive sentences are warranted,” Cascio told Hinton.

The Somerset County investigation, as reported by our Randy Griffith, showed Hinton had met the children through his church.

How absolutely despicable.

“These girls were put in your trust and your care through adults of families at church,” Cascio said.

“These families trusted you. You violated that trust in the most severe way.”

Indeed.

How this pedophile was able to carry out these sick assaults for so long without getting caught is beyond comprehension.

We can at least take solace in the fact he finally has been stopped, sparing even more young girls from his grubby clutches.

We hope he gets the psychiatric help he needs – as he rots away the rest of his life in prison.

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