WILKES-BARRE – A Fern Glen man charged with having an inappropriate relationship with a young girl over a seven-year period – and facing his second jury trial – was convicted Wednesday of eight related charges.
Vincent Catrone, 41, of Tomhicken Road, was found guilty of three counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, two counts of aggravated indecent assault and one count each of unlawful sexual contact with a minor, statutory sexual assault and indecent assault after a Luzerne County jury deliberated for about two hours.
Catrone was found not guilty of additional charges of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and corruption of minors.
Catrone, represented by attorney Joseph Nocito, had previously stood trial on the charges, as well as two counts of rape, in October 2009.
At that trial, a jury acquitted Catrone of the two rape charges and a mistrial was declared on the 10 remaining charges after the jury could not decide on a verdict. Prosecutors decided to retry Catrone on those charges. The new trial began with jury selection Monday.
After the first trial, prosecutors appealed a decision by Judge Joseph Augello that precluded the testimony of Catrone's wife. The state Superior Court reversed that decision, ruling Catrone's wife's testimony was relevant and should be allowed at the new trial.
Catrone faces a maximum of 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on Dec. 20.
Also, Catrone will be required to undergo an evaluation by the state Sexual Offender's Assessment Board to determine if he is a sexually violent predator.
According to court papers, on October 17, 2008, the girl, at that time 18 years old, reported to state police that she had been sexually abused by Catrone, who is known to her, since she was about 10 years old.
The girl said Catrone threatened to kill her and her family members, and even himself, if she told anyone about the abuse.
Nocito said in his closing argument Wednesday the girl has been known to be an "untruthful person" and has lied about abuse she allegedly was a victim of.
Nocito said that before reporting the alleged incidents to police, the girl never told anyone about what was happening and there was no physical evidence to prove she had been sexually assaulted.