Crime

Penn State police: Released sex offender violates probation by drinking alcohol

A convicted sex offender who was released from jail this month is back behind bars after Penn State police found him this weekend asleep on a bench, under the influence of alcohol — and in violation of his probation.

Joshua Bathgate, 23, of Bellefonte, was barred from drinking alcohol as part of the punishment handed down for two sexual assault cases in 2011 when he pleaded guilty to aggravated indecent assault and misdemeanors of indecent assault. Police had said Bathgate sexually assaulted two sleeping women.

Bathgate was given a one- to two-year sentence and seven years of probation. He got credit for almost a year spent behind bars while his case played out, and a court order set his release for May 29.

Penn State police said they found Bathgate at about 2:20 a.m. Saturday on a bench near East College Avenue and South Allen Street where he was sleeping. He had been drinking alcohol, university Police Chief Tyrone Parham said.

Police said Bathgate was served with an arrest warrant from the Centre County Probation and Parole Department and was taken to the county jail.

Bathgate is a registered sex offender through the state’s version of Megan’s Law.

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