2013-09-19 / Front Page

Barnhart Convicted Of Molesting Child

Sentencing scheduled for November 8
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

Roy Barnhart Roy Barnhart NEWS EDITOR

A McConnellsburg man will remain free on bail while awaiting sentencing for the indecent assault of a child less than 13 years old and the corruption of minors.

Seventy-one-year-old Roy Grover Barnhart of 11 Gerald Circle was convicted of the pair of criminal offenses last Friday morning during a county jury trial presided over by retired Judge Robert J. Eby of Lebanon County. Having reviewed testimony from the female victim and a Pennsylvania State Police criminal investigator, the jury deliberated for approximately one hour before delivering the guilty verdicts. Sentencing has been set for November 8 at 10 a.m.

The 15-year-old victim testified she was between 5 and 9 years old when the incidents occurred at a green house on Peach Orchard Road and later at Barnhart’s newest residence in Gerald Circle. She said at the time she shared a room with her sisters at the homes and would occasionally spend the night.

She stated that on almost a daily basis Barnhart would touch her inappropriately while sitting in his chair. She added she would routinely get into trouble and had to read a book on manners while sitting on his lap. The victim described the book in detail, elaborating on its color and the number of words per page.

Scared and embarrassed to say anything, the acts remained private until January of this year when the “depressed” girl confided in her high school guidance counselor. Services for Children were in turn contacted, leading to an investigation by the state police.

The girl added Barnhart always seemed to be around and didn’t recall him working. She noted his wife, Helen, was the primary caretaker, providing meals and help with homework, but wasn’t always around.

She further testified that she never yelled out for help, but was assured by Barnhart that it was OK and she shouldn’t tell anyone.

Criminal investigator Trooper Timothy Lear took the stand for the commonwealth as well. Under cross examination by defense attorney Timothy Barrouck, Trooper Lear stated he knew there would not be any physical evidence, such as DNA, in a case that is more than five years old. He said he did not attempt to confirm Barnhart’s daily routine or work schedule nor did he try to locate the chair or book mentioned by the victim.

In closing arguments, Fulton County District Attorney Travis Kendall concluded, “What we have is a witness telling you what happened to her ... It’s all the evidence we have. It’s all the evidence we need.”

Last Friday’s guilty verdict marks the second sex crime conviction for Barnhart. Court documents indicate he was sentenced on January 13, 2009, on two counts of indecent assault of a child less than 13 years old. Barnhart completed five months incarceration and has been listed as a Megan’s Law sexual offender since June 17, 2009.

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