- 80-year prison sentence for Bedford man affirmed
- Teen charge with desecrating Bedford Co. statue
- Bedford Co. World War II monument unveiled
- Lunch lady accused of stealing gym bag
- World War II monument complete in Bedford Co.
- Cash 5 ticket worth $225K sold in Bedford Co.
- Bedford Co. teenager killed in crash
- Vandals open fire hydrant, releasing 200,000 gallons of water
- Group of men making a difference to honor veterans
- Vacant Bedford Co. home destroyed by fire
- 6 local airports receiving funding
- Police: Neighbor shoots neighbor in Bedford Co.
- Man dies after single-car crash
- Man killed after hitting car head-on
- State police investigate fire at Everett home, hours after shooting
- DEVELOPING: House at center of shooting investigation catches fire
- State police investigate near drowning at Shawnee State Park
- New York film company features Bedford teen with inoperable tumor
- 62,000 UPMC employees have 'work day' smoking ban
- Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown selling bishop's home
- Crash on Route 30 in Bedford Co. kills one
- Police: Bedford Co. inmate made knife from shampoo bottle
- 29th annual WJAC-TV Donor Day underway
- Commission OKs another boost in Pa. Turnpike tolls
- Wicked weather blows through Bedford Co.
- Storm cleanup underway in Bedford Co.
- Bedford Co. fire breaks out during storms
- 20 charged for allegedly dealing drugs in Blair Co.
- Man hospitalized after police chase, crash
- Chestnut Ridge Elementary adopts
- Large Bedford Co. fire keeps crews at scene for nearly 7 hours
- Bedford Co. releases third video of Everett
- Battling prescription drug trafficking an ongoing effort
- Man killed after concrete barrier falls on him
- The 9th Congressional District candidates face off
- Will's Mountain fire ruled arson
- Police: Man goes on hike in woods, dies of natural causes
- Speed limit restored on Rt. 220 in Bedford Co.
- Some firefighters sent home after brush fire contained
- Crews continue to extinguish Bedford Co. mountain blaze
- Fire continues to rage on Bedford Co. mountain
- Speed limit reduced near Bedford Co. mountain fire
- Brush fire continues to grow in Bedford Co.
- Brush fire in Bedford Co. covers hundreds of acres
- Police probing death of Bedford woman
- Bedford company lays off 40 employees
- Bedford Co. town still without clean water
- Crash in Bedford Co. kills one
- Everett man heading to trial on 2,426 counts of sexual abuse
- Crews battled 5-acre brush fire in Bedford Co.
- Bedford Co. turnpike closure planned
- VA hospital to close ICU, change emergency care
- Several drugs reported missing from Bedford Co. ambulance company
- Two injured in mobile home explosion
- Police identify missing man from 2008 burglary using DNA
- Bedford Co. bison farm creating boost for area business
- Hearing continued for Bedford Co. man accused of raping 3 girls
- Man tries to run over woman with car
- Wife of man facing child sex abuse charges shocked, confused
- Bedford Co. man faces 2,400 charges related to child sexual abuse
- 121 Bedford Co. homes without clean water
- Flames destroy house in Bedford Co.
- Barn catches fire early Sunday morning
- More than 300 people without water in Bedford Co.
- UPMC nurse and nurses union agree on contract
- Several displaced after fire tears through Blair Co. block
- UPMC Altoona, nurses union reach tentative contract agreement
- Police investigating fatal crash in Bedford Co.
Everett man heading to trial on 2,426 counts of sexual abuse
Updated: Wednesday, March 26 2014, 05:19 PM EDT
By: Maria Miller
EVERETT, Pa. -- A Bedford County man facing more than 2,000 counts of rape and sexual assault will be heading to trial.
Michael Edmonson's three alleged victims confronted him in court Wednesday morning and described graphic secrets they said they've been keeping for years until the youngest went to police in February.
"They're courageous, willing to stand up and tell the truth about what happened," said Bedford County District Attorney Bill Higgins. "They came forward and I'm very proud of them. They should be proud of themselves."
Two of Edmonson's alleged victims, now in their early 20, explained in detail sexual acts they said he did to each of them and made them do to him repeatedly for at least three years. Their younger sister, now 15, told the judge Edmonson started touching her when she was 5 and later raped her around the age of 12, just about every week up until this past February when she went to police.
"It's the first time they ever had to testify in court," Higgins said. "They're testifying about some very personal, graphic things that you'd never want to have to share those details even if you did that with somebody consensually."
The girls looked embarrassed and ashamed as they spoke quietly Wednesday. Through tears, sometimes taking long pauses, they described how Edmonson would often bring them to an old farmhouse to rape them, other times make them get out of the car along back roads always while the girls were together. But the defense pointed out that during testimony, the girls never said they witnessed abuse happening to each other.
"There were a lot of key facts from witness to witness that differed greatly," said Bedford County Chief Public Defender Karen Hickey. "The difficulty is that when you're at a preliminary hearing. The court is very constrained to what the court can consider. Credibility is not something it can consider so today's hearing is in no way a reflection of what the ultimate result will be."
Another problem the defense had is the charges, specifically when it comes to the exact age of the girls at the time of their allegations and the number of counts against Edmonson.
"To say how many counts per victim, what type of conduct, when it happened, where did it happen, there are a lot of unknowns of the case at this point," Hickey said. "Mr. Edmonson stands by his claim that he is innocent of all charges."
"I mean, obviously if you listen to what the defense attorney says in this case, we shouldn't have even arrested this guy," Higgins said. "But you hear the evidence, it's overwhelming and we're fully prepared to proceed to trial."
After a nearly two -hour hearing, the judge determined prosecutors presented enough testimony and evidence to bound all 2,426 charges to trial. Until then, Edmonson will remain in the Bedford County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bond.