CLEARFIELD – A former Moshannon Valley School Board member will pay a $100 fine plus court costs for touching a 17-year-old girl’s leg last summer.
Mark Travis, now 38, was charged with harassment after he touched the girl’s leg during a trip between and Houtzdale after a church volleyball game.
Travis had been convicted last summer during a hearing held before Magisterial District Judge James Hawkins in Houtzdale. That conviction was upheld last month by Clearfield County President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman after an appeal was filed.
“I think (Judge Hawkins’ sentence) was an appropriate sentence to be imposed,” Judge Ammerman said when deciding what Travis’ punishment should be. For the harassment charge, a summary, Travis could have been sentenced to pay up to a $300 fine and spend up to 90 days in Clearfield County Jail.
While Travis did not speak on his own behalf, his attorney, William Fleming said, “It was an extremely bad decision on Mr. Travis’ part,” about the events that led up to the allegations. On the day of the incident, Travis took the girl off of the main road in Ramey, presumably to show her a fishing spot he thought she might like to use in the future. After reaching the area where the fishing hole was said to be, Travis stopped his truck and reached across the girl to show her a deer that was outside. It was during the reach across the girl that Travis touched her leg and moved his head toward hers, as the girl told both judges, in an attempt to kiss her.
The girl then told Travis that she was feeling ill and she would like to go home.
Judge Ammerman told Travis that it was his position in the community that caused people to focus on the story of what happened that day. “With him having been on the school board, it brought quite a bit of attention to the matter,” Judge Ammerman said.
Travis resigned from the Moshannon Valley Board of Education last month.