Big Run Man Waives Sexual Assault Charges

PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. (EYT) – A 21-year-old Jefferson County man accused of having an ongoing sexual relationship with an underage girl waived three dozen charges in district court last week.

According to court documents, Benjamin Thomas Long, of Big Run, waived the following charges in District Judge Douglas Chambers’ office:

  • Indecent Sexual Intercourse With a Person Less Than 16 Years of Age, Felony 1
  • Statutory Sexual Assault: Person 4-8 Years Older, Felony 2
  • Aggravated Indecent Assault with Person Less Than 16 Years, Felony 2
  • Photograph/Film/Depict on Computer Sex Act – Knowingly Depicts on Computer, Photo, Etc., Felony 2 (seven counts)
  • Indecent Assault With Person Less Than 16 Years of Age, Misdemeanor 2
  • Child Pornography, Felony 3 (seven counts)
  • Endangering Welfare of Children – Parent/Guardian/Other Commits Crime, Misdemeanor 1 (two counts)
  • Corruption of Minors – Defendant Age 18 or Above, Felony 3 (five counts)
  • Corruption of Minors, Misdemeanor 1 (10 counts)
  • Manufacture, Delivery or Possession With Intent to Manufacture or Deliver, Felony

The charges were filed by Punxsutawney Borough Police on June 12.

According to a criminal complaint filed by Officer Andrekovich, the investigation was initiated on May 24, 2017, after police received a Childline report indicating a female minor was involved in a sexual relationship with a 21-year-old man.

The report indicated that Benjamin Thomas Long allegedly had sexual relations with a female minor.

During an interview later that day, the victim told Officer Andrekovich that she and Long – a senior at Punxsutawney Area High School – had been in a relationship since July 2016.

Additionally, the complaint states that the victim told Officer Andrekovich that she sent several nude photos of herself to Long via a mobile phone.

The victim stated that her mother found out about the relationship and told her to stop dating Long.

A school official spoke with Long, and he denied having any child pornography images on his phone.

On May 25, 2017, Officer Andrekovich obtained a search warrant for Long’s phone. The device was obtained and transported to a Pennsylvania State Police Computer Forensics Lab in Meadville.

Following further examination, it was determined that the phone contained seven nude photographs of the victim.

On June 8, 2017, at 9:30 a.m., the victim was interviewed at Western PA Cares for Kids.

The victim told Forensic Interviewer Pat Berger that she and Long first had vaginal and oral sex at his residence in 2016.

The victim also told Berger that she and the defendant smoked marijuana that evening and it “made her feel fuzzy” and “put her at ease.”

The criminal complaint states that the victim then revealed to Berger that Long took multiple nude photos of her while she was laying on his bed.

According to the criminal complaint, the victim indicated that she and Long had vaginal and oral sex over twenty-five times from October 2016 through May 2017.

Long remains free on $50,000.00 cash bail.

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