New Bethlehem Man Accused of Raping 5-Year-Old Girl

griffin-mugSOUTH BETHLEHEM BOROUGH, Pa. (EYT) – A New Bethlehem man faces 28 felony charges after he allegedly admitted to sexually assaulting a five-year-old girl in South Bethlehem Borough, Armstrong County.

According to a criminal complaint, New Bethlehem Police received a report on May 21 from Armstrong County Children and Youth Services stating the 5-year-old victim told a therapist that Mahlon Andrew Griffin, 62, of New Bethlehem, had inappropriate contact with her on multiple occasions.

The victim allegedly told police in a May 27 interview that she stayed with Griffin while her parents were shopping, the complaint states.

Police interviewed Griffin, who, at first, denied sexual contact with the victim but allegedly admitted he had been convicted 25 years ago for sexual misconduct with a 10-year-old boy, Once again, he denied sexual contact with the victim, the complaint indicates.

Police asked Griffin if he would take a lie detector test, and he allegedly agreed but said he would fail. When asked why he would fail, Griffin allegedly remained silent, according to the complaint.

Griffin allegedly again denied touching the victim, then said he may have accidentally done so while drying her off after a bath, the complaint states.

Police continued to question Griffin, and he allegedly admitted to performing several sexual acts with the victim. Griffin allegedly discussed the actions in more detail while being transported to the police department, the complaint indicates.

Griffin allegedly told police the sexual encounters happened “five to six times between February and March of 2015,” and said that “he feels better telling the truth, and he needs help with his sexual problem,” according to the complaint.

Based on the evidence discovered during the investigation, Sergeant Wright, of the New Bethlehem Borough Police Department, requested an arrest warrant be issued for Griffin.

According to online court documents, Griffin was arraigned on July 15 in Armstrong County Court before District Judge Samuel R. Goldstrohm and faces the following charges:

  • one count of Rape of Child, first-degree felony
  • one count of Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse W/Child, first-degree felony
  • one count of Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse Person Less Than 16 Yrs Age, first degree felony
  • 5 counts of Aggravated Indecent Assault – Comp. Less Than 13 Years Old, second-degree felony
  • 5 counts of Aggravated Indecent Assault of Child, first-degree felony
  • 5 counts of Indecent Assault Person Less than 13 Years of Age, third-degree felony
  • 5 counts of Corruption Of Minors – Defendant Age 18 or Above, third-degree felony
  • 5 counts of Endangering Welfare of Children – Parent/Guardian/Other Commits Offense, third degree felony

Unable to post $50,000.00 bail, Griffin was placed in the Armstrong County Jail.

A preliminary hearing has been set for 9:00 a.m. on July 22 with Magisterial District Judge James H. Owen presiding.

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