2012-03-29 / Local & State

Harrisonville Man Pleads Tuesday

Waives arraignment by mail on statutory sexual assault
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

A Harrisonville area man waived his right to mandatory arraignment by the Fulton County Court of Common Pleas via mail Tuesday.

Zachary Allen DeShong, 20, was scheduled to appear in court on March 27 for arraignment on five counts of statutory sexual assault and one count of the corruption of minors, which range in severity from a secondto third-degree felony. DeShong waived the court proceedings by mail and entered a plea of not guilty to all charges, according to Fulton County District Attorney Travis Kendall.

The criminal allegations against DeShong, of 8128 Black Bear Road, were filed on January 31, one day after a 15-yearold girl appeared at the Pennsylvania State Police barracks in McConnellsburg with her parents.

In her discussions with investigating officer Trooper Michael Davis, the girl admitted to having consensual sex with DeShong between October and December 2011, an affidavit of probable cause stated. The victim and the defendant were allegedly together between five and 10 times during that time frame. The girl said she was only 14 the first time they were together, police added in charging documents.

Police also interviewed DeShong in the course of their brief investigation and noted the age difference between the defendant and victim is four years and 11 months. A written confession was also obtained in the matter.

DeShong is represented in court proceedings by defense attorney Steve Rice. He is next scheduled to appear in court on July 10 for call of the criminal trial list. At that time, DeShong will be able to accept any plea arrangement, if one has been offered; enter a guilty plea; or ask for a trial by judge or jury.

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