Lansdale man accused of sexual assault waives preliminary hearing
The Lansdale man accused of sexually assaulting an underage girl waived his right to a preliminary hearing Feb. 21 before District Judge oobert Sobeck.
In exchange, the prosecution agreed not to seek — for now — a mandatory minimum sentence against Timothy Patrick Dunigan Is, according to defense attorney oobert Adshead.
The sentence could force DunLJDn, 19, WR VHUvH fivH RU 10 years in a state prison, according to Adshead.
“Agreeing to xthe waiver] was an easy decision,” the defense attorney said. “This hearing means absolutely nothing. All the waiver means is that my client wants his day in court.”
Prosecutors made the deal to eliminate the need to have the girl testify, according to Jeremy Abidiwan-Lupo, a Montgomery County assistant district attorney.
He said authorities could decide to seek the sentence against Dunigan in the future.
Dunigan — of the 700 block of Columbia Avenue in Lansdale — has been accused of four counts each of rape by the threat of force, statutory sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with the threat of forcible compulsion, sexual assault and aggravated indecent assault of a child and indecent assault of a person less than 13 years old and one count of terroristic threats, according to information posted on the Pennsylvania Judiciary Web Portal.
An amended criminal complaint, filed Feb. 21 by authorities, withdraws one charge of rape of a child against the defendant.
The girl told authorities in lctober that she had been sexually assaulted by the defendant on several occasions, according to the RULJLnDO DIfiGDvLW RI SUREDEOH FDuVH fiOHG DW WKH FRuUW of District Judge Harold Borek.
The new complaint states the girl told authorities the assaults started when she was 4 or 5 years old.
7KH RULJLnDO DIfiGDvLW states that the incidents occurred between the summer of 2006 and lctober of 2012.
In it, the girl reportedly told authorities Dunigan forced her to play “Doctor,” and that she was forced to perform oral sex on him.
$FFRUGLnJ WR WKH fiUVW fiOing, Dunigan threatened to break both of her arms so she couldn’t do anything to stop him, as well as allegedly threaten that the assaults “would get worse” if she did anything to stop the incidents.
Interviewed by authorities, Dunigan said the relationship started during the summer after he was in sixth grade, according to the original court papers.
The language of the new DIfiGDvLW HOLPLnDWHV Dny alleged incidents that occurred before the defendant turned 18, according to Adshead.
It provides details of alleged encounters between Dunigan the girl between June and lctober of last year.
The defendant remains free on A5,000 bail. His formal arraignment has been scheduled for April 10 in Norristown, according to Sobeck.
Borek recused himself from the case, according to Abidiwan-Lupo.
Timothy Patrick Dunigan IV arrives in Blue Bell for a hearing in District Court Feb. 21.
Photo By Geoff PattoN