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Central Pa. man who sexually assaulted minor for months is convicted: DA

Patriot-News - 12/7/2023

A jury convicted a Lancaster County man Wednesday after he sexually assaulted a minor over eight months, according to the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office.

John Wakefield Jr., 48, of Columbia, was charged with statutory sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, endangering the welfare of children, corruption of minors, and indecent assault in November 2022 after the victim secretly recorded an instance of the abuse, according to a press release.

“It’s not a he-said, she-said thing anymore,” Assistant District Attorney Christopher Miller said to the jury. “This case is in your hands now. You all have eyes. I’ll let the video speak for itself.”

The victim — who was 16 at the time — said the abuse took place from February 2022 to September 2022 until she gave a neighbor the SD card with the recording, who reported it to the police.

“[The victim] didn’t go through all of this to lie to you,” Miller added. “She did this to tell you the truth.”

The defense argued that penetration never took place and Wakefield Jr. and his wife testified the abuse seen on video was “wrestling,” the DA’s office said.

Wakefield Jr. reportedly refused to elaborate on what wrestling moves he performed in the video, and said he would not be able to demonstrate “without a bed.”

The jury deliberated for three hours before returning with a guilty verdict, according to a press release. Wakefield Jr. is now awaiting sentencing after a Megan’s Law evaluation is done.

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