Sexual assault charges move to county court
Man accused of assaulting girlfriend’s daughter
ABINGTON >> Charges against a Philadelphia man accused of sexually assaulting the daughter of his girlfriend over a two-year period were forwarded for trial in county court during an Oct. 17 preliminary hearing before District Judge John Kessler.
Bruce A. Beatty, 49, of the 2100 block of Cobbs Creek, has been charged with felony counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, unlawful contact with a minor, aggravated indecent assault of a child, indecent assault and corruption of minors.
Beatty, represented by Abigail Leeds, stipulated to the charges, which the judge said meant “for the purpose of today’s hearing you will not be challenging the information set forth in the affidavit of probable cause,” so the charges will go up to county court.
A charge of endangering the welfare of a child was dismissed by Kessler at the hearing.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, a 12-yearold Abington girl, accompanied by her mother, told police July 29 that Beatty had sexually assaulted her numerous times between December 2016 and June 2018 while he was her mother’s boyfriend.
The girl, who was ages 10 to 12 during the assaults, described two incidents, one in April 2018 that occurred while she was in her mother’s bedroom after taking a shower, clothed only in a robe, while her mother and younger brother were downstairs.
The victim said she feared Beatty, describing him as “a big strong man,” and didn’t know what he would do if she resisted, so she didn’t say anything during the assault.
The girl also described the most recent incident, which occurred in June 2018 when she was watching television on her mother’s bed and while other family members were in the home.
Leeds argued for dismissal of the charge of endangering the welfare of a child, noting the victim’s mother was in the home at the time and that Beatty, who did not live there, “was not a parent, guardian or person [responsible for] supervising the welfare of a child.”
Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney Nicholas Beeson argued the statute was broad and “doesn’t limit the scope of who can fill this role … nothing says you have to be that one person responsible for looking after the kid.”
Beatty, who had a relationship with the girl’s mother off and on for five years, “had extensive exposure to the child,” Beeson said, and argued “it should be left to the next level to determine” if the charge should be upheld.
Kessler responded, “It’s a stretch to say someone in the home as a guest or invitee has a responsibility for a child.”
Following a break during which the judge read case law supplied by both attorneys, Kessler said, “Leeds makes a compelling argument.
“He may have a relationship with others in the house, but there is no expectation the defendant had supervision of the child; I will dismiss that charge.”
Beatty remains free on a $50,000 bail bond.
Formal arraignment in county court is scheduled for Dec. 12.