CLEARFIELD – A former Houtzdale man whose actions caused turmoil for his family will spend the next several months in jail and nine years on probation.
James “Tony” Hansel, 59, now of New Alexandria, pleaded guilty to corruption of minors, indecent assault, indecent exposure and furnishing alcohol to minors. Hansel was set to go on trial on Oct. 3, but he entered into a plea before the trial could proceed.
At the preliminary hearing, Hansel’s relatives testified that he exposed himself and touched them inappropriately. He also played a pornographic video while a teenager was present. At other times, Hansel provided alcohol to relatives and their friends.
Before he was sentenced, Clearfield County Judge Paul E. Cherry said he had received a letter from Hansel dated Nov. 23. He asked Hansel if it was his intent to withdraw his plea and seek a new trial. Hansel replied, “No.”
Cherry sentenced Hansel to serve 120 days in Clearfield County Jail. He will also serve a total of nine years’ probation.
Hansel will also pay $5,600 in fines in addition to the cost of probation.
Hansel was also ordered to complete sex offender counseling, refrain from the possession or use of alcohol and have no unsupervised contact with minors or the victims in the case and their families.
After entering his plea last month, Hansel returned to his former home and reportedly made a gesture toward the family of one of the victims. As a result, his bail was revoked, and he was incarcerated.
“I think that should impact on whatever sentence the Court would give,” said Clearfield County First Assistant District Attorney F. Cortez “Chip” Bell III.
Five people spoke prior to the sentencing, one pointing out that Hansel was a former state police trooper and should have upheld the law rather than break it.
The first to speak said that unfortunately, the authorities were not contacted soon enough, and crimes that were committed would go unpunished. The victim said Hansel had called himself a “dirty old man” on several occassions.
The next to speak forgave Hansel, and said, “Looking into your stone cold face, I can see you have no regrets.”
Another victim said Hansel was “an unpleasant, irrational and mentally ill person.”
“The real injustice will be for the next victim,” said one person who addressed the Court.
In total, five people spoke before the judge, and all were moved to tears while reading their prepared words. All showed glimpses of the anger and hurt they felt, and only one forgave Hansel.
Then, it was Hansel’s turn to speak to the victims.
“I’m very sorry for any hurt I caused,” he said, facing toward the judge.
Cherry said, “Don’t tell me that, turn around and tell them that.”
Hansel faced the gallery and said that some things that happened were unfair, and some other things were not said.
He was able to speak a few words to them before the sentencing. “I ask for your forgiveness,” he said.
“You had a very close family and because of your actions … you have caused so much pain and agony and anger to a family now that is split and will never be the same,” Cherry said before sentencing Hansel.
“I hope, sir, that you do get the help you need,” Cherry said. “I hope you think every day of what you did.”