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February 27, 2014

Man withdraws request to contest 'predator’ tag

EBENSBURG — A Johnstown man convicted nearly seven months ago of 51 counts in the sexual assault of a girl has changed his mind about wanting a second opinion on the diagnosis that he is a sexually violent predator.

Albert Baldish Sr., formerly of Conner Towers in Johnstown, had his second sentencing date delayed Thursday after he told Cambria County President Judge Timothy Creany that he will forgo a request he made in November for an assessment of his mental condition.

“Based on my experience and nature of these crimes, I believe any kind of expert report would most likely come back with the same results,” public defender Ryan Gleason told Creany.

Baldish, 49, was convicted Aug. 13 by a Cambria County jury on multiple counts of rape, aggravated indecent assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, statutory sexual assault and corruption of minors.

The trial included an account by a woman, now 28 and living in western Pennsylvania, of how Baldish began assaulting her with inappropriate touching when she was 6.

The abuse escalated to intercourse on her ninth birthday, she testified, and he stopped molesting her when she was about 12.

An evaluation by the state Sexual Offenders Assessment Board showed Baldish to be a sexually violent predator, Cambria County Assistant District Attorney Beth Bolton Penna said in November.

Such a distinction is a marker showing a person has the potential to commit similar crimes and that he will have to register with authorities after he is released from prison.

Results of the assessment were revealed in mid-November on the day Baldish was set for sentencing.

Baldish told the judge that he did not agree with the outcome of the assessment and wanted a second opinion. Creany granted the request, but the second assessment was never carried out.

Baldish, through his attorney, said Thursday that he wants William G. Allenbaugh of DuBois, who conducted the assessment for the state board, to be at his sentencing hearing to present his evidence.

Under questioning from the judge, Baldish said he is aware of his rights and of the 14 factors that are considered in the predator assessment.

“I read over the report (by Allenbaugh). I read everything, and I don’t agree with it,” Baldish said.

But he assured the judge he understood his choice not to have another assessment.

Creany rescheduled Baldish’s sentencing for 10 a.m. Thursday with Allenbaugh to be available to testify regarding his assessment.

Baldish has been housed at the Cambria County Prison since his conviction.

Kathy Mellott covers the Cambria County Courthouse for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at

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