Hearing delayed for suspect in scalding case

A Boalsburg woman accused of scalding a man could face an additional, more serious assault charge but will have to wait another week for her preliminary hearing.

District Judge Carmine Prestia granted a request from prosecutors Wednesday to postpone Lesa Harriott’s hearing on misdemeanor assault and summary harassment charges.

State College police arrested Harriott, 38, last week after a man accused her of pouring a pot of hot water on his chest. The man was not present Wednesday.

Assistant District Attorney Lindsay Foster said the man had been living with Harriott and is now in Florida because he had nowhere to stay after the incident. She asked the judge for another week so the man could return to testify.

Foster also said she would seek to add a felony aggravated assault charge in connection with last week’s incident. She cited Harriott’s prior record and current probation as reasons the continuance should be granted and the case against her advanced.

Steve Trialonas, Harriott’s attorney, opposed the continuance because it’s the commonwealth’s duty to ensure that witnesses are present and expressed concern that the man might not return next week either. He also argued that prior convictions are not reasons for a continuance.

Foster said the man is “invested” in the prosecution of charges against Harriott.

Harriott denied the incident when interviewed by police, according to court documents. She is held at Centre County Correctional Facility in lieu of $150,000 bail.