Saturday, November 8, 2008

Howard Scott Allison - Repeat Sex Offender - ''incorrigible pedophile''

An Arizona man convicted in a child sexual abuse case a decade ago was sentenced Thursday to a state prison term of 12-1/2 to 25 years by a Blair County judge.

After Howard Scott Allison, 53, told Senior Judge Thomas G. Peoples Thursday, ''I am not a rapist. ... I am not mean, vicious or cruel,'' Peoples said Allison was convicted of raping a 6-year-old child in 1998 and that he had ''damaged her life psychologically and perhaps physically.''

Peoples said Allison was an ''incorrigible pedophile.''

He rejected state sentencing guidelines that called for Allison, a native of Williamsburg, to go to prison for five years, calling them inadequate for the crimes committed against the kindergartner in December 1998 when he visited his Williamsburg home on a Christmas vacation.

The child was attending a party at the Allison family home, and according to testimony during Allison's trial last summer, he followed her to a downstairs bedroom where she went to play. He closed the door and raped her.

The youngster did not reveal what happened until she broke down after a counseling session last year and reported the assault.

Peoples allowed two adult women to testify during the trial that Allison had molested them in a similar way when they too were about 5 or 6 years old.

The women had never before come forward with their stories that occurred more than 30 years ago, but they said they could not remain silent after learning that Allison had attacked another child.

Peoples decision to permit the testimony will be the primary issue of Allison's appeal to the Pennsylvania Superior Court, his attorney Philip O. Roberston said after the sentencing.

The cases alleged by the two older victims never were prosecuted, Robertson said.

He said he also will appeal Peoples' long state prison sentence.

The defense portrayed Allison as a good provider, making a $75,000 annual salary as a foreman in an Arizona manufacturing plant, and as a good father to his three teenage children.

Several letters from Allison's Arizona neighbors and friends stated he was active in his church and was a good friend and family man.

The mother of the young girl said her daughter, who is a teenager now, ''might never be the person she might have been.''

''She can never return to the carefree, trusting life stolen from her,'' the mother said.

She asked Peoples to put Allison away for as long as he can to ''protect future innocent victims.''

Peoples found Allison to be a violent sexual predator who must register with police under Megan's Law for the rest of his life.

Blair County Assistant District Attorney Deanne Paul supported the lengthy jail term, saying, ''He was able for too long in his life to hurt and sexually assault young girls.''

"25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years"
.........Sarah Tofte

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