Jury reaches guilty verdict
Duncanon man found guilty of indecent assault
MIFFLINTOWN — A Duncannon man who was facing multiple charges related to the indecent assault of a minor was found guilty on all counts before a jury on Tuesday.
Ronald J. Moore II, 49, stood trial at Juniata County Courthouse before Senior Judge Keith Quigley on three counts of indecent assault, corruption of minors and unlawful contact with a minor for allegedly having sexual contact with his young daughter on multiple occasions between about the ages of 6 and 10 and instructing her younger brother to have inappropriate contact with her.
Juniata County District Attorney Cory Snook provided the jury with testimony from the victim, now 16, her mother, law enforcement, Moore and a family friend.
The victim testified that between the ages of about 6 and 10 she was “sexually, physically and verbally abused” by Moore, her biological father.
The testimony came about five years after the family — including the mother and her five children — moved to another state when the victim was 11 years old.
Testimony indicates that the mother was in a relationship with Moore and they lived together in McAlisterville with their five children between 2006 and 2011.
The girl testified that on multiple occasions starting around the time when she was 6 years old, while she was playing with her younger brother in his bedroom, Moore would enter the room and ask to play, which eventually led to Moore instructing the brother to inappropriately touch her with his hands and mouth. The girl also testified that Moore made her touch him on more than one occasions.
Additionally, the girl testified that if her brother didn’t perform the acts right, Moore would correct him.
The incidents began when the victim was about six and her brother was 2 and continued until she was 10 and and her brother was 6, testimony indicates.
The victim testified that Moore told them to not tell anyone, and threatened to harm her and her family if she did.
Cross examination with Public Defender Nancy C. Schrum, Moore’s attorney, revealed some discrepancies between testimony the girl provided during the preliminary hearing, what she told police when charges were filed and what she said during Tuesday’s trial, including specifics of the incidents.
The girl indicated during Tuesday’s trial that she did not initially come forward with the truth because she was afraid.
The girl’s mother testified that she moved out of state with her children to get away from Moore, claiming he was was abusive and at one point held a knife to her throat. During this time, the mother testified that the victim was afraid of Moore for some time.
The mother also testified that the relationship between the victim and her younger brother became strained when the family moved out of state.
In the five years since the victim’s family moved out of state, both Moore and the victim’s mother moved on to new relationships and at one point Moore stopped paying child support. The mother also asked Moore over the phone to give up parental rights.
The mother also testified that Moore informed her that he was considering adopting two children from a new relationship.
Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Ryan French, who investigated the case, testified that during an interview with the victim’s little brother, the boy recalled that Moore may have instructed him to touch the girl.
Moore testified that he and the victim’s mother had been planning on moving out of state together until a custody battle ensued around 2010.
Moore denied allegations that he touched his daughter in a sexual manner and said he never told his son to touch her.
Moore testified that he sent child support for years, but became unable to work in 2016 due to a health issue and was not able to pay. He also said he had a good relationship with his children and talked with them multiple times a week over the phone.
A family friend, Eric Miller, testified that while he was going through a divorce in 2010, he would confide in the children’s mother and during one conversation, she told him that if Moore ever put her through a similar situation, she would tell people he did inappropriate things to her children.
No physical evidence was provided during the trial, but copies of text messages between Moore and the juvenile and Moore and the juvenile’s mother were available for the jury. One text message included was from the victim’s mother that said “I’ll make your life hell” for not paying child support.
Schrum argued that since the victim couldn’t recall specific events that occurred and there were inconsistencies between testimonies that Moore should be acquitted.
Schrum also said Moore was rarely left alone with the girl and that there is no evidence that she was molested, aside from her testimony.
The defense attorney also questioned whether it would be possible for a 2-year-old to do the acts that the victim claimed Moore made him do and questioned whether the family may be “jealous” of Moore’s new relationship.
Additionally, Schrum questioned why it took so long for the victim to come out with details of the case.
Snook responded in his closing argument that it is common for details to come out “in bits and pieces” and that some discrepancies are common in cases like this.
Bail was set at $50,000 cash and if posted, electronic monitoring device will implemented until the sentencing.