Crime

Penns Valley man accused of child rape heads toward trial on dozens of charges

Austin Ronk will go trial.

The 19-year-old Rebersburg man — charged with 75 counts of various crimes connected with the sexual abuse of an 8-year-old child — was bound over for trial by District Judge Thomas N. Jordan on Wednesday.

Ronk is charged with three counts of rape, three counts of rape of a person younger than 13; six counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse; six counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a person younger than the age of 16; six counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child; 24 counts of aggravated indecent assault; nine counts of statutory sexual assault; three counts of unlawful restraint; three counts of sexual assault; nine counts of indecent assault; and three counts of corruption of minors, all felonies.

In exchange for Ronk’s waiver, District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller agreed to not filing additional charges against Ronk at this time, in regards to another child from whom he allegedly solicited sexual contact.

Parks Miller said that she will add the additional charges later if Ronk does not plead guilty.

The victim and her family were in the courthouse Wednesday, prepared to give their accounts of the incidents, but because of the waiver, they did not testify.

Christine Breton, Ronk’s attorney, requested an adjustment to Ronk’s bail, which Jordan declined. Breton cited Ronk’s cooperation as justification.

Parks Miller contested the adjustment of bail, telling Jordan and the court that “this guy is extremely dangerous because he’s preyed on someone who trusted him, later bragging about the rape.”

Parks Miller said “these types of defendants have a predilection to raping children and that he is right where he belongs due for the safety of the general public.”

Ronk’s charges stem from three separate assaults. Police began an investigation in June. Ronk was taken into custody last week. He remains in the Centre County Correctional Facility in lieu of $150,000 bail.

Lori Falce contributed to this report.

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