2010-04-01 / Front Page

McFadden Sentencing Postponed

Sentencing in indecent assault case continued until June 8
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz STAFF WRITER

After chastising a McConnellsburg area man for not actively seeking help or counseling on his own, Judge Shawn Meyers of the Fulton County Court of Common Pleas opted to delay formal sentencing until June in a case involving the indecent assault of a juvenile.

Timothy Marlin McFadden Jr. of 189 Strait Way Drive publicly apologized to the victim, her family, his wife and family as well as his friends for his sexual indiscretions with a 15-year-old girl that took place November 6 through November 15, 2009. The relationship was discovered by the girls’s father, who found sexually explicit messages from McFadden on his daughter’s cellphone.

“I know what I did was wrong. There is no excuse for my actions,” McFadden told the court and Judge Meyers on Tuesday, March 30. “I’m the responsible party, not her.”

Defense attorney Steve Rice admitted to Meyers that McFadden, 34, got a “good deal” in entering a plea to three counts of the corruption of minors and indecent assault of a person less than 16 years of age. All six counts are listed as a misdemeanor one and two.

Original charges filed by Pennsylvania State Police in McConnellsburg included three counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse; 18 counts each of unlawful contact with a minor, corruption of minors, indecent assault; 11 counts of statutory sexual assault; and four counts of aggravated indecent assault.

Rice went onto say that the wishes of the victim’s family should be taken into consideration when determining what sentence should be handed down.

The victim’s father spoke briefly to Meyers and pointed out that all parties involved have suffered a “great deal” through the experience. The father said he believed that court-ordered jail time would not solve anything but only create more problems. He concluded he did not wish to further destroy family and friends in the matter.

Letters were also submitted to the court from McFadden’s wife, various family members, his pastor and the community highlighting McFadden’s character and also the possibility of the family farm folding if he would be sentenced to time in prison.

However, Fulton County District Attorney Travis Kendall pointed out that for various reasons, including the sheer multitude of victims, the McFadden case is one of the most difficult cases he has been involved with since being elected district attorney.

“At 15, this girl was romantically and sexually involved with this man, who is over 30 years old. She believed she was in love ... . She is not mature enough to realize he would not leave his wife and small children ... . She is devastated and so are her parents and family,” said Kendall, who touched on a familial connection between the McFaddens and the victim’s family.

Kendall also made reference to McFadden’s prior record, and specifically pointed out that he has refused to appear in court in Maryland to handle several traffic offenses. That refusal to deal with the situation, Kendall said, is a “character issue.”

“Part of me screams out that he (McFadden) should go to state prison,” Kendall said.

Meyers pointed out certain items should be taken into consideration by the court for sentencing purposes. “The victim’s father’s request is surprising and candidly shows a level of benevolence the court does not have to grant,” said the judge. “ ... In looking at his (McFadden’s) prior record, there seems to be a continual ability to get another chance.

“The court hasn’t seen that you’ve sought and gained appreciation for what you’ve done,” Meyers told McFadden. “ ... Maybe you could have gone to counseling and shown that you’ve turned over a new leaf and have a deep commitment. I don’t think that’s happened. I don’t know what message has to be given for you to understand? I would like to see a proactive stance instead of reactive.”

Asking for a second opportunity to address the court, McFadden stated at the time he was charged he “thought about taking his own life” over what he destroyed. “I can’t take it back ... I can only ask for forgiveness and seek help,” he concluded.

Following McFadden’s statements, the judge took a brief recess to meet with both attorneys and complete sentencing documents. Upon reconvening, Meyers ordered that McFadden’s sentencing be delayed in order for a professional evaluation to be completed, submitted to the court and utilized in proposing treatment during sentencing.

McFadden’s sentencing has been rescheduled for Tuesday, June 8, at 9 a.m. in the Fulton County Court of Common Pleas.

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