Crime

Jury delivers verdict in case of Howard man accused of raping a child

Child sexual abuse statistics in the United States

One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.
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One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

A jury found a Howard man not guilty of all charges Tuesday, including child rape.

Six women and six men deliberated for about one hour before acquitting 46-year-old Alexander Fults after a two-day trial.

He was found not guilty of three felony counts of child rape, eight felony counts of aggravated indecent assault and 11 felony counts of unlawful contact with a minor.

State police at Rockview accused Fults of raping and sexually assaulting a female in Snow Shoe when she was 9 or 10 years old. She reported the alleged assaults in February 2018 when she was 18 years old.

Fults2
Alexander Fults leaves the Centre County Courthouse after a jury decided he was not guilty of all charges, including child rape onTuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. Abby Drey adrey@centredaily.com

The woman told police the alleged “sexual victimization” began after Fults showed her a pornographic magazine. From there, Fults was accused of assaulting or raping her at least 11 times during an about four year period.

She also said Fults occasionally paid her to “keep quiet and not tell her mother what was taking place.”

District Attorney Bernie Cantorna did not prosecute the case, but said his office will continue to prosecute cases regardless of the age of the case.

“If there is a credible report of sexual assault and it’s 10 years old, that is not going to be a determining factor in us bringing a prosecution,” Cantora said. “We respect the decisions of the jurors and we appreciate their service to the legal system.”

Assistant Public Defender Elizabeth Ramos, who represented Fults during the trial, declined to comment.

The law specifies how long of a prison term a person could face for child abuse.

Bret Pallotto primarily reports on courts and crime for the Centre Daily Times. He grew up in Lewistown and graduated from Lock Haven University.
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