The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

State News

April 9, 2013

State in brief 4/10/2013

Kidnap suspect indicted

CLARION – A Clarion County man accused of kidnapping a 13-year-old girl and taking her to South Dakota has been indicted by a federal grand jury, authorities said.

U.S. Attorney David Hickton said Tuesday that a grand jury in Pittsburgh had indicted 31-year-old Joshua Baker, of Leeper, on federal counts of interstate transportation of a minor for the purpose of engaging in unlawful sexual activity and travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct.

Clarion County District Attorney Mark Aaron on Monday announced state charges of kidnapping a minor and interfering with custody, alleging Baker left with the girl in the middle of the night March 28. Authorities said the kidnapping charge applies because of the girl’s age, whether or not she consented to go with Baker. Aaron alleged at a news conference Monday that Baker was running away from his wife and was in a relationship with the girl.

Online court records don’t list an attorney for Baker, who was jailed in South Dakota on the charges filed in Clarion County. Baker is the cousin of the girl’s mother’s fiancee, Aaron said.

Baker was arrested in Martin, S.D., on Saturday, two days after a store clerk saw Baker and the girl and called police.

Trade mission yields new plant

HARRISBURG – An international manufacturer of hydraulic cylinders plans to open a facility in Franklin County by the end of this year, Gov. Tom Corbett said Tuesday from Brazil as he leads a South American trade mission.

The planned Wipro Infrastructure Engineering plant in Chambersburg will create 74 local jobs and generate $10 million in capital investment over a decade, Corbett and officials involved in the project said in a telephone conference from Sao Paulo with Pennsylvania reporters.

India-based Wipro is a major supplier of Volvo Construction Equipment, which officials said has a strong presence in Brazil and whose only North American production facility is located in Shippensburg.

Wipro already has 13 facilities worldwide.

ITSI-Biosciences of Johnstown is one of the companies taking part in the mission.

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