2015-06-04 / Front Page

Broadwater Found Guilty In Child Rape Trial

Sentencing tentatively scheduled for Sept. 8
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz NEWS EDITOR

Broadwater Broadwater A former northern Fulton County man was remanded to jail last Thursday to await sentencing after a jury deliberated for 40 minutes and found him guilty of rape by forcible compulsion as well as rape of a child.

Twenty-threeyear old Eric Samuel Broadwater, most recently of Breezewood, remains incarcerated in Franklin County Jail in lieu of $150,000 bail. Bail was modified by presiding Fulton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Carol L. Van Horn following the May 28 jury trial from its original amount of $100,000 unsecured at the request of Fulton County District Attorney Travis Kendall. In sending the 23-year-old to jail to await sentencing proceedings tentatively scheduled for September 8, Judge Van Horn said she could not allow Broadwater to be a danger to the community.

The victim in the case took the stand to provide details surrounding the lone incident that occurred in a northern Fulton County home during the summer of 2008. A video of the victim being interviewed by Fulton County Services for Children caseworker and forensic interviewer Cindy Sonne was also aired for the jury and entered into evidence.

The child said their arms were grabbed by Broadwater, who lured the child into a room on the premise he needed to show them something.

“I didn’t know what was going on. I was very scared. He pulled down my pants and raped me,” the victim stated.

The child went on to say Broadwater asked them not to say anything or he would tell on them for something they had done. “Scared and confused,” the child said they didn’t immediately tell a parent because they were trying to figure out themselves exactly what had happened.

The victim eventually told a parent in March of 2014.

Fulton County Public Defender Philip Harper pointed out alleged discrepancies in the victim’s time frames that varied during previous interviews. The victim responded they did not change the times but just didn’t remember it exactly.

Sonne also took the stand during the trial and provided expert testimony on the physical manifestations in children following a sexual assault. In 96 to 97 percent of cases there will not be any physical evidence show up in later years, she said, adding that it’s not unusual for a victim to not suffer bleeding or similar injuries in a case such as this. In this instance, the victim only sustained sore arms from being held against their will.

Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Tim Lear shared a noncustodial, written statement secured during an interview with Broadwater at the McConnells- burg barracks. In the statement, Broadwater alleged the child took off their clothes while playing. He said he came up to the child and bent over to get them to put their clothes back on. It was during that moment that he rubbed against he child, the statement said.

No evidence or testimony was offered by the defense in the trial. Broadwater told the judge it was in his “best interest not to testify.”

An evaluation will be performed prior to sentencing in September by the state sexual offender assessment board.

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