Crime

Spring Mills man faces more molestation charges

Edward Geier, left, leaves his arraignment on rape charges in front of District Judge Kelley Gillette-Walker on Tuesday, May 19, 2015.
Edward Geier, left, leaves his arraignment on rape charges in front of District Judge Kelley Gillette-Walker on Tuesday, May 19, 2015. CDT photo

A Spring Mills man already charged earlier this year with raping a child was back in court Wednesday for a preliminary hearing on new rape charges stemming from an incident more than a decade ago.

At the end of the hearing, District Judge Leslie Dutchcot decided that the new charges against Edward Geier, 40, should head to trial and he should remain in custody.

Geier was first charged in February with more than 1,000 counts of child sex abuse. New charges followed last week after a family member came forward to state police with allegations that Geier raped her in 2003, when she was 14 years old, and indecently touched her in 2007.

The family member, now 26 years old, took the stand and offered tearful testimony about both incidents Wednesday.

The woman said she was babysitting Geier’s child at Geier’s apartment in 2003 and fell asleep in bed with the youngster. She awoke to Geier raping her, she testified.

The other time, the woman said Geier reached under her shirt and groped her.

She said that she talked to Geier about both incidents, and said he told her that he was drunk and thought she was someone else the first time and that he was on pain medication that made him do weird things the second time.

The woman also said she discussed the matter with her family after both incidents. District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller asked her if her family was supportive of her telling the police and if they thought the incidents were “that big a deal.”

“No,” she responded to both questions.

The woman also said she was present with other family members at a bail hearing on the first set of charges and when she and Geier hugged one another, he asked her to keep quiet about what happened.

Geier had previously been a client of Bruce Manchester, but is now represented by public defender Casey McClain. McClain asked the woman if she had previously filed a police report about the incidents.

She replied that she had, in October 2004. McClain then asked why it took her so long to approach police again.

Parks Miller objected to the question on grounds of relevance, which Dutchcot sustained.

The matter of bail was also addressed at the end of the hearing. Geier was free on $150,000 bail on the first set of charges before his arraignment on the new ones last week when District Judge Kelley Gillette-Walker put Geier back in Centre County Correctional Facility on $200,000 bail.

McClain asked that Geier be released on intensive supervised bail. When he had been released before, Geier wore a GPS anklet that tracked him, and McClain said that and possibly house arrest could be conditions of Geier’s release.

Parks Miller opposed the motion and said that the family member only felt safe stepping forward with her story when Geier was incarcerated, and said that Geier posed a threat to the community.

Dutchcot said she felt the current bail was appropriate and a factor in the decision is the allegation that Geier approached the woman about not testifying against him.

Geier maintains his innocence on both sets of charges, McClain said.

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