Crime

Man charged in rape case taken back into custody, is a ‘danger to the community’ judge says

A Clearfield County man charged with rape in Centre County has been taken back into custody after an emergency bail modification hearing Wednesday at the Centre County Courthouse.

Scott McCliment, 25, of Hawk Run, was charged with 15 felonies related to the alleged rape of an “intellectually challenged” female on Jan. 9. The charges allege McCliment met with the woman at her College Township home in Feburary 2013 after meeting online then took advantage of her.

Bail was originally set by District Judge Thomas Jordan at $200,000 straight, according to court documents, then changed to 10 percent of the original amount by District Judge Allen Sinclair on Jan. 18. The $20,000 required for release was posted Jan. 18 by a family member, authorities said.

An emergency motion to modify bail was filed Jan. 24 requesting a higher amount, according to court documents. Centre County Judge Pamela Ruest presided over Wednesday’s hearing.

Assistant District Attorney Crystal Hundt argued for a modification to $500,000 straight, saying while the commonwealth initially believed the original bail was appropriate at the time, new information has caused them to reconsider.

Hundt argued that McCliment’s sole purpose in the endeavor was to have sex, which he reportedly admitted to police. She also argued that the woman was mentally unable to consent.

Hundt also provided a recorded prison phone call between McCliment and a second party in which the two joked about killing the woman and her family.

“The likelihood of conviction in this case is high,” she said. “We have DNA evidence, expert opinion and (the defendant’s) own words.”

McCliment’s attorney, Tami Fees, argued that any of her client’s previous criminal history has been faced and dealt with. She also addressed the phone call, saying the mention to harm the family was made by the second party, not McCliment.

Fees also argued that while McCliment does live in Clearfield County, he is right over the border of Centre County and can be monitored. She also assured that McCliment’s own family would make sure he is present for hearings, saying they have no interest in losing the money or property put up as bail money.

Ultimately, Ruest agreed with the commonwealth, ordering a bail modification of $500,000 straight. Ruest said she felt McCliment was a “danger to the community,” and the recorded phone call supported that.

Jeremy Hartley: 814-231-4616, @JJHartleyNews

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