A man facing charges of indecent assault with a minor, as well as endangerment, was bound over on all charges Wednesday at the Centre County Courthouse.
Brian T. Hill, 32, was initially charged with misdemeanor counts of endangerment and assault when he reportedly pointed a gun at a child in their Spring Township home, the CDT reported earlier in March. Additional felony charges of indecent assault, indecent exposure and corruption of a minor charges were filed the following week.
Prior to the hearing, Assistant District Attorney Crystal Hundt added a felony count of intimidation to the second set of charges. Defense attorney Patrick Klena’s objections were noted.
Klena also stated his belief that the case brought against Hill was “wildly unethical,” citing that the only witness brought on behalf of the commonwealth was a single state trooper whose testimony would consist solely of hearsay.
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“It’s over the top that (the prosecution) would attempt to have a preliminary hearing without the complainant or her mother who met with the trooper,” he said.
While he said he empathized with Klena, District Judge Thomas Jordan said he was bound by the case law that allowed the state to make a prima facie case based on hearsay. He also cautioned both attorneys to behave in a professional manner.
The state police criminal investigator called by the commonwealth testified to receiving a report this month involving a child who claimed Hill had pointed a gun at her and on different occasions made her touch him sexually. When he spoke with the defendant, he said, Hill reportedly didn’t deny the incident with the gun, saying it “could have happened.”
Klena verified with the investigator that he had not tried to follow up with any additional family members beyond the mother, and also questioned how it was determined that the sexual incidents had happened in December. The investigator also testified he had not looked into Hill’s work schedule at that time.
While Klena conceded that his client would likely be bound over on the charges, he requested that bail be changed from straight to unsecured, saying Hill was not a flight risk.
“(Hill) is sitting in jail on bare allegations,” he said. “We don’t know what is true here.”
Jordan ultimately denied bail modifications and bound Hill over on all charges.
As he was led from the courthouse, Hill told reporters, “These accusations are false.”