Eric Queen, 52, Curwensville, pleaded guilty to indecent assault. He was sentenced to 60 days to one year in jail and three years consecutive probation. He was ordered to complete the Project Point of Light program and to have no contact with females under the age of 18 other than supervised contact with his grandchildren. He was fined $1,000 plus costs.
Queen was originally charged with rape of a child, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, aggravated indecent assault of a child, statutory sexual assault, sexual assault, and indecent assault on person less than 13 years of age. The charges stem from an incident in June 2009 when Queen allegedly sexually assaulted a girl while she was staying at his home. In August, a three day trial ended with a hung jury because they could not agree on a verdict.
Prior to sentencing, Lance Marshall, attorney for Queen said that the probation office’s recommendation for the plea was for four years probation. He noted that Queen had been free on supervised bail since the fall of 2009.
“He’s already been on supervision for two and a half years,”Marshal lstated then asked for a shorter probation period.
Judge Fredric J. Ammerman pointed out that the plea was a compromise in this case which had caused “all kinds of problems for the family.” He recalled several pre-trial hearings which were “hard fought”.
It was also noted that Queen had been evaluated and was determined not to be a sexually violent predator.
During the trial the victim testified that she and her family were at the Queen’s house that day swimming. Before her family went home, she asked her mother if she could stay overnight with theQueens. The mother agreed. During the evening Paula Queen was called into work, leaving Queen alone with the girl. The victim testified that she showered and put on a nightgown. They stayed in Queen’s bedroom where they were watching TV. They had a snack of chips and milk.
She stated that he touched her “inside” and licked her. After this she asked if she could call her mother, and Queen agreed. She went downstairs so he wouldn’t hear what she was saying on the phone. She explained that she wanted to go home because “I didn’t like being alone with him.”
DNA evidence taken from the girl’s underwear was a match for Queen or one of his male relatives. In an early interview with Pennsylvania State Trooper Terry Jordan, Queen stated that if he ever thought he could do something like this they would have to bury him the next day. Later in the investigation after Jordan took a DNA sample from Queen, Queen tried to commit suicide, according to testimony from the trial.
Throughout several pre-trial hearings Queen maintained that what the girl described did not happen. His testimony of that evening’s events was the same as the victim’s up to the point of her being in his bed. She was talking to Paula Queen on the phone when she spilled milk on the bed. Queen said he was sure his wife said something to the girl about the milk because she doesn’t allow milk or food in the bed as a rule. It was after this he said the victim asked if she could call her parents. The defense had stated that the girl made the story up to get out of trouble for spilling the milk.