68-Year-Old Leeper Man Accused of Sexually Abusing Young Girl Sentenced Up to 30 Years in State Prison
(Photo: Lance Albert Yarger, Sr. (front) being escorted into the Clarion County Courthouse prior to sentencing. Photo by Dave Cyphert of ProPoint Media Photography.)
On Wednesday, April 10, President Judge James Arner sentenced 68-year-old Lance Albert Yarger, Sr., of Leeper, to a total of 17 to 30 years in state prison.
Arner ordered Yarger to a minimum of 36 months to a maximum of 72 months on each of five second-degree felony counts of aggravated indecent assault, complainant less than 13-years-old, with the sentences to be served consecutively.
According to Clarion County Assistant District Attorney Drew Welsh, Yarger was scheduled for a pre-trial conference on Wednesday, March 13, but instead, he chose to enter a guilty plea on five counts of aggravated indecent assault. His plea was contingent on a 15- to 30-year state prison sentence.
As a result of the plea agreement, the following charges were dismissed:
- Aggravated Indecent Assault – Complainant Less Than 13-years-old, Felony 2 (20 counts)
- Aggravated Indecent Assault – Complainant Less Than 16-years-old, Felony 2 (25 counts)
- Indecent Assault Person Less than 13 Years of Age, Felony 3 (25 counts)
- Corruption Of Minors – Defendant Age 18 or Above, Felony 3
- Indecent Exposure, Misdemeanor 1
- Indecent Assault Person Less 16 Years of Age, Misdemeanor 1 (25 counts)
Previously, during a hearing on Wednesday, February 20, Yarger turned down a plea bargain offered by the District Attorney’s office and requested a trial by jury.
Yarger will also be required to register as a Tier 3 sex offender, which requires a lifetime registration.
He is currently lodged in the Clarion County Jail, awaiting transfer to a state correctional facility.
Details of the case:
According to a criminal complaint, on February 19, 2018, Trooper Allison, of the Clarion-based State Police, was conducting an interview with Lance Yarger concerning an unrelated incident that had occurred in New Bethlehem. During the interview, Yarger told Trooper Allison that he was trying to commit suicide. He went on to say that he had been having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a known girl. The girl recently told her mother what Yarger had been doing to her over the past several years. An investigation was initiated into the sexual abuse of children and contact was made with the victim and her mother.
On April 4, 2018, Corporal Lencer, of Marienville-based State Police, traveled to the Armstrong County Jail to interview Yarger. Yarger was advised of his Miranda Warnings, and Corporal Lencer asked him if he would talk to him. Yarger advised that he felt like he needed an attorney and continued to say that he would just be hanging himself if he talked to him, the complaint states.
Yarger then blurted out “I didn’t rape her.” Corporal Lencer advised him that the interview was over due to his remark about needing an attorney, according to the complaint.
Clarion County Children and Youth Services (CYS) conducted a minimal facts interview with the victim and then relayed that information to state police.
The complaint states that contact was made with the victim’s mother who requested that a female trooper do the interview with the victim, if possible.
Trooper Kathy Watters completed an interview with the victim at Marienville state police barracks on August 27, 2018.
Through the interview, the victim told Trooper Watters that she had been assaulted by Yarger multiple times from the time she was in third grade until she was in seventh grade. She stated that the assaults occurred in a residence and in the car and that the assaults ranged from Yarger touching her over and under her clothing in both inappropriate areas multiple times, according to the complaint.
The victim also stated that Yarger exposed his penis to her multiple times, the complaint states.
EDITOR’S NOTE #1: Extreme graphic details were not included due to the sexual nature of the alleged crime.
EDITOR’S NOTE #2: Additional details were omitted to help protect the identity of the victim.
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