Category: Armstrong County Court House

Templeton Man Pleads Guilty to Indecent Assault of Minor

A Templeton man pled guilty in the Armstrong County Courthouse earlier this month to having sexual relations with a minor.

According to District Attorney Scott Andreassi, Chad Anderson, Jr. – 19 – was four years, eight months older than a known female juvenile – 14 at the time of the incident – when the pair engaged in sexual intercourse August 8, 2013.

The incident reportedly occurred in a private residence in South Buffalo Township that evening.

Anderson told Judge James Panchik earlier this month he was aware of the victim’s age and had just met her.

According to the criminal affidavit filed by State Police troopers, the sexual contact could have taken place multiple times that spring as well after Anderson was confronted by the victim’s father over the phone and at another residence.

Anderson was interviewed outside of his Pine Township residence a week after the alleged incident.

In cooperation with pleading guilty to the misdemeanor indecent assault charge, Andreassi recommended the statutory sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault and corruption of minors charges be dropped and that Anderson be incarcerated for a period between two months and two years in the Armstrong County Jail.

Judge Panchik reminded Anderson that that is Andreassi’s recommendation only and another penalty could be assessed during the April 10 sentencing.

Anderson did consult with Public Defender Debra Yost before the plea agreement was made and she affirmed his agreement to the implications.

At the plea court date, the victim’s parents were also present and said they understood what Anderson’s plea meant to the case. They were invited to write a victim impact statement before the sentencing date.

Sheriff’s Office Arrests Two Following Anonymous Tip

Crystal Chop, 32

Mitchell Dongilli, 33

By Jonathan Weaver

An anonymous tip led the Armstrong County Sheriff’s Department into Kittanning Township yesterday morning for two arrests.

Sheriff Bill Rupert said he, along with sheriff deputies and State Police troopers, arrested Mitchell Dongilli, 33 of Vandergrift, and Crystal Chop, 32 of Kittanning, about 11AM Tuesday morning following a 9AM phone call.
“This morning, we received an anonymous tip on our “See Something, Say Something” hotline of two people that were staying in the apartments behind Super Shooters bar,” Sheriff Rupert said.

Sheriff Rupert said Dongilli and Chop, who were boyfriend and girlfriend, were wanted on bench warrants for failure to appear in court and were arrested at the apartment along Route 422 in Kittanning Township.

Westmoreland County Sheriff Jon Held said Dongilli’s bench warrant was issued December 6 after Dongilli failed to appear in the Court of Common Pleas to make a guilty plea.

According to the original criminal complaint, Dongilli was charged August 19 with robbery, escape, theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property during the annual Festa Italiana di Vander-grift.

Sheriff Held said that no additional charges will be filed against Held unless Armstrong County officials deem it necessary.

While he was initially caught in Vandergrift, Sheriff Held said Dongilli frequently moved between Westmoreland and Armstrong Counties.

Dongilli will be transferred to the Westmoreland County Jail in Greensburg later this week.

Chop’s bench warrant was issued by District Magisterial Judge Samuel Goldstrohm after she failed to appear to attest to charges of driving under the influence and two misdemeanor charges of endangering the welfare of children, along with the summary charge of not providing a proper child seat belt. Chop was initially arrested April 6.

Sheriff Rupert said deputies and police troopers had to forcibly enter the residence, but that Dongilli and Chop were arrested and incarcerated in the Armstrong County Jail without incident.
The “See Something, Say Something” tipline (which is the sheriff’s office at 724-548-3265) has been available to residents for about four weeks. Sheriff Rupert said the service is available 24 hours per day and is used often.

“We have received several tips on it, but this is one of the first ones we were able to act upon,” Sheriff Rupert said. “It was a good tip – we were able to act upon it right away. In doing so, we took two people wanted off the streets.”

He encouraged residents to continue calling if they see a dangerous situation.

“No matter how big or small they think it may be, anything they see that is suspicious or anyone they know is wanted, they can call the (anonymous) tipline and we’ll look into it,” Sheriff Rupert said.

Sheriff Held said Westmoreland County has also had success with anonymous tipsters, and looks forward to continuing the relationship with Armstrong County units when needed.

“We’ve had great success with both our anonymous tip line and our Facebook page,” Sheriff Held said.

Another plea court hearing for Dongilli has been scheduled for March 26 and a preliminary hearing for Chop is scheduled for next week.