Alleged victim testifies at competency hearing

MIFFLINTOWN – The younger of two alleged sexual assault victims testified on Thursday during a competency hearing in the Juniata County Court of Common Pleas.

The now-12-year-old alleged victim, who previously testified Dennis J.Walton, 53, sexually abused her a number of times, took the stand again on Thursday.

Juniata County District Attorney Cory Snook and defense attorney Michael Gingerich asked the girl a series of questions to determine if she understood the difference between telling the truth and telling a lie.

Several times during her testimony the alleged victim got a little sidetracked and at one point she said “I get flashbacks because of him,” referring to the defendant.

Judge Kenneth A. Mummah said he would review the transcript from the preliminary hearing held in May of 2013 before rendering a decision as to the girl’s competency, but added there was “little doubt she is competent.”

Mummah also addressed a pending motion regarding Walton’s right to a speedy trial. Walton became upset at one point and was shaking and barely intelligible as he expressed his frustration in still being incarcerated.

Walton said that every time his case comes up on the court docket it is continued.

Mummah tried to explain to Walton that if he or his attorney request a continuance that does not count against the commonwealth for speedy trial purposes.

Walton is also charged in another sexual assault case involving a now-33-year-old woman.

She testified at the same preliminary hearing as the other alleged victim in 2013 and stated Walton performed various sexual acts on her over a period of several years, which began when she was 7 or 8 years old. The abuse continued into her teen years, with the last assault occurring when she 21 or 23 years old.

When asked how often she was assaulted, she replied “every time (Walton) got the chance … practically on a daily basis.”

She further testified she was afraid of Walton and he would threaten her.

“I was young and he was stronger than me, what could I do?” she said.

Walton is charged with multiple counts of rape of child, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and other related offenses. A trial date has not been set.

Walton remains incarcerated in the Mifflin County Correctional Facility in lieu of a combined $100,000 bail.