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June 27, 2014

Man gets up to 15 years for molesting teen

EBENSBURG — A Summerhill Township man was sentenced to 21⁄2 to 15 years in state prison for molesting a mentally disabled teenage girl he allegedly was helping with schoolwork.

David Eugene Carman Jr., 45, apologized to the girl, who was in the courtroom at the time of his sentencing Thursday. Carman told her he was sorry for the emotional damage he knows he caused her.

“I accept full responsibility for my inappropriate and illegal acts,” he told the girl while not looking in her direction. “You are in no way responsible for my actions. I am very, very sorry. I never thought I would have been capable of this.”

Carman, of the 800 block of Cameron Avenue, Beaverdale, was arrested in early January and charged with  20 counts of rape of a mentally disabled person; 10 counts each of aggravated indecent assault of a mentally disabled person, indecent assault by force and corruption of minors; and a number of related charges.

In late March, he entered a guilty plea to one count each of aggravated indecent assault and corruption of minors.

Carman was described in the criminal complaint filed by police as a friend of the girl’s family.

The girl, now 16, was molested multiple times between May and December. She and Carman communicated on Facebook.

Carman said Thursday he started  tutoring the girl on schoolwork and attempted to help her with other problems.

Police said they were contacted after the girl failed to return home after several hours one day, and they learned she had been at Carman’s house.

Assistant District Attorney Wayne Langerholc urged Judge Norman Krumenacker to consider the mental capacity of the girl and urged a harsh sentence.

“This was an individual placed in a position of trust and he violated that trust,” Langerholc said. “She does not function at a higher level.”

Krumenacker gave Carman credit for time served and ordered him to pay costs of prosecution and a $500 fine.

If he is a model prisoner and complies with the state’s sexual offender rehabilitation program, Carman could be out of prison in two years, attorney John Lovette of the county public defender’s office said.

An evaluation by the state’s Sexual Offenders Assessment Board determined that Carman, who has no prior record, is not a sexually violent predator.

However, Krumenacker said, because of the nature of the crime, Carman does fall under Megan’s law guidelines and will have to keep authorities aware of where he is living for the rest of his life.

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

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