A Huntingdon man is charged with rape and other felony offenses for allegedly assaulting two teenage girls.
Richard Long, 21, is currently scheduled for a formal arraignment Aug. 5 in the two cases. One set of charges stems from an alleged incident during the summer of 2019 in Oneida Township and the other dates from this past spring in Huntingdon Borough. The alleged victims were aged 14 and 13 at the time of reported incidents.
Long is in custody on a total of $350,000 cash bail.
During Wednesday’s preliminary hearing in front of Magisterial District Judge Doug Gummo, Long’s court-appointed attorney Tim Burns asked for a continuance, explaining he’d just learned from Long’s aunt that the family is seeking private counsel.
Assistant District Attorney Julia Wilt objected to a continuance, stating one of the victims traveled some distance to Huntingdon to participate via Zoom from the DA’s office.
Gummo spoke with Long’s aunt to find out how far along they are in the process of hiring an attorney. She said they’ve contacted two law offices but haven’t retained anyone yet.
Gummo said Burns will continue serving as Long’s representative until such time a different attorney is hired.
Burns then asked to waive Wednesday’s preliminary hearing and to preserve the right for any new attorney to call for a hearing challenging evidence at a later date.
Gummo granted the request and forwarded all charges in both cases — eight felonies and one misdemeanor — to the court of common pleas.
A parent contacted Huntingdon Borough Police May 13 about an alleged sexual assault involving Long and her 13-year-old daughter. A guidance counselor at the girl’s school contacted police May 14 with a similar report and relayed the girl was afraid Long would be waiting for her at her bus stop.
Borough police covered the bus stop and arranged for the Children’s Advocacy Center of Centre County to conduct a forensic interview with the victim. The interview took place May 25, at which time the victim alleged she developed a relationship with Long via text messages through Facebook; they first met in-person at the uptown Sheetz, then at Portstown Park and at the girl’s home where they would “kiss” and “cuddle.”
The victim, who is too young to legally render consent, said she and Long met May 12 at Weaver Park and had sex in a wooded area.
The same day the 13-year-old victim was sitting for a forensic interview, state police at Huntingdon received a report from a 16-year-old girl alleging Long raped her during the summer of 2019 at her uncle’s home in Oneida Township when she was 14 years old.
Police say the victim reported she and Long were alone, watching TV. She told police Long left the room and when he returned, he was undressed. She said he grabbed her and, despite her protests, proceeded to rape her.
The victim told police that, afterwards, “she sat and cried for an hour and was too scared to tell anyone.”
The victim said Long further assaulted her later that same day while she was laying on a couch. She told police she pretended to be asleep, hoping he’d stop.
State police say they interviewed Long May 27 and report he admitted to having a consensual sexual contact with the victim. Police say Long told them he knew his actions were wrong and that “she was too young.”
Charges filed against Long for the 2019 incident are: Felony 1 rape by forcible compulsion, felony 2 statutory sexual assault, felony 2 aggravated indecent assault, felony 2 corruption of minors and misdemeanor 2 indecent assault without consent.
Charges filed in relation to alleged events from May are: felony 1 involuntary deviate sexual intercourse on a person under age 16, felony 2 statutory sexual assault, felony 2 sexual assault and felony 3 corruption of minors.
Rebecca can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.