Crime

Williamsport man accused of child sex assault found dead at Benner state prison

A Williamsport man who was serving time in Benner state prison for a felony sex assault charge stemming from the alleged abuse of a child in 2016 was found unresponsive in his cell and pronounced dead on Sunday, the state DOC said.
A Williamsport man who was serving time in Benner state prison for a felony sex assault charge stemming from the alleged abuse of a child in 2016 was found unresponsive in his cell and pronounced dead on Sunday, the state DOC said. Centre Daily Times, file

An inmate death was reported at Benner state prison in Benner Township on Sunday.

Conard Carpenter, 54, was found unresponsive in his cell at 3:03 p.m., according to Superintendent Robert Marsh.

Prison staff immediately responded and provided life-saving measures — including cardiopulmonary resuscitation — until facility medical personnel arrived, a release from the state Department of Corrections said. Carpenter was pronounced dead at 4:05 p.m. by medical personnel. State police and the Centre County coroner were notified.

The official cause of death will be determined by the Centre County coroner, the release said. Coroner Scott Sayers has not yet responded to requests for comment.

Carpenter was serving a sentence for sex assault out of Lycoming County.

Carpenter, of Williamsport, was charged in Lycoming County in 2016 with five felonies relating to child sex assault. He pleaded guilty to a second-degree felony charge of sexual assault and was sentenced to 48-96 months in state prison, followed by two years of probation, with 560 day credit for time served, according to court documents. The other charges were waived or dismissed.

Lycoming County Judge Marc Lovecchio called the sentence “totally insufficient,” as reported by PennLive.com in 2018, but accepted Carpenter’s plea agreement to spare the child, who was 4 years old at the time of the alleged incident, from having to go through a trial.

PennLive reported that Carpenter had six previous convictions, including one in 1992 for corruption of minors. He was acquitted in 1994 of charges including rape, endangering the welfare of children and corruption of minors.

His name was placed in state child abuse registry by the Lycoming County Children and South Services after complaints of child sex abuse, but no criminal charges ever came from those complaints, Lycoming County Chief Detective William Weber told PennLive.

  Comments