Rape case bound over for trial

MIFFLINTOWN – The 22-year-old victim of an alleged sexual assault was the only person to testify at a preliminary hearing held on Wednesday at Magisterial District Judge Barb Lyter’s office for a man charged with rape and other related offenses.

Following the hearing, Lyter bound over all the charges filed against Gabe Sheaffer, 19, of Newport. Sheaffer’s attorney, Nicole E. Collins, waived her client’s formal arraignment in the Juniata County Court of Common Pleas. No trial date has been set.

Sheaffer did not make eye contact with anyone during the course of the hearing and sat next to Collins quietly as the alleged victim testified.

The alleged victim was stoic during her testimony and didn’t falter when questioned by Juniata County District Attorney Cory Snook or during cross examination by Collins.

She testified that on the night of June 8, 2013, she attended a party in Susquehanna township with several friends and she drank several alcoholic beverages that evening.

“It got to the point where I was barely walking,” she testified.

She went on to state that a male friend of hers escorted her to a spare bedroom, where she slept off the effects of the alcohol.

“I remember waking up with someone on top of me,” she testified.

She testified that she initially thought the person on top of her was a friend and called out, but then realized it was Sheaffer.

She also said that when she passed out from drinking too much alcohol she was wearing all her clothes, however when she awoke during the assault she was completed naked.

The alleged victim also testified she froze during the course of the sexual assault and also passed out.

She also testified that she had heard from a friend that Sheaffer had bragged about the assault.

According to court documents, Sheaffer sent a text message to the alleged victim apologizing for the assault.

In addition to the charge of rape of an unconscious victim, Sheaffer is also charged with two counts each of aggravated indecent assault and indecent assault.

Sheaffer remains free on $25,000 unsecured bail.