CLEARFIELD – A Hawk Run man will spend up to 50 years in state prison for sexually assaulting a 9-year-old girl.
Wescott Pusey, 41, 171 Telcott St., Hawk Run, was found guilty of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, and 30 counts each of aggravated indecent assault of a child, corruption of minors and indecent assault of person less than 13 years of age after a trial in August. On Thursday Judge Paul E. Cherry sentenced him to a total of 25 to 50 years in state prison.
A hearing was held prior to sentencing to determine if Pusey was a sexually violent predator. William Allenbaugh, a licensed psychologist and member of the sex offender assessment board, testified that he reviewed the case and he did determine that Pusey was a sexually violent predator.
Pusey’s attorney, Ronald Collins, argued regarding inconsistencies in the case surrounding the time period involved. Allenbaugh stated that the assaults occurred over a three-year period, according to the court documents he reviewed. Collins pointed to testimony from the victim and others and stated that it is possible the assaults all happened within a six-month period.
Allenbaugh explained that it didn’t matter if it was only six months because it has to be at least six months of abuse to fall into the predator category.
“The reality is that he did not stop himself,” he stated.
In his closing arguments in the hearing, District Attorney William A. Shaw Jr. stated that Pusey victimized a pre-pubescent child over a period of time and this meets the criteria for a pedophilia disorder.
Cherry decided that Pusey does meet the statutory requirements and ruled Pusey to be a sexually violent predator. Pusey will have to register his address with law enforcement for the rest of his life under Megan’s Law.
Prior to announcing the sentence, Cherry referred to Pusey as “sick” and stated that he needed help. He commented that Pusey had violated the sacred trust between an adult and child and noted the girl would have to “live with this forever.”
Pusey himself addressed the court asking Cherry to consider everything he has lost including his family and ministry. He asked for mercy.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, in May of 2014, police began investigating Pusey after receiving a report that he was inappropriately touching a 9-year-old girl while at a residence in Boggs Township.
The victim’s mother told police the girl mentioned to her that Pusey had a dirty habit. When she questioned the girl about this, the victim told her mother that when she watched television with Pusey, he would put his hand down her pants. She said this had been going on for over a year.
On one occasion, he came into the bathroom when she was naked and about to get in the shower. He was shirtless and hugged her. When she told him to stop, he said “just give me a couple minutes.”
Two other children told police that they had seen Pusey touching the girl while they watched TV and at other times.