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Centre Co. man pleads guilty to child rape

By: Marc Stempka

BELLEFONTE, Pa. -- A Centre County man originally charged with more than 1,000 counts related to child sexual abuse reached a plea deal with prosecutors Thursday morning, pleading guilty to more than 200 counts of child rape.

Eric Crader, of Pleasant Gap, plead guilty in Centre County court in Bellefonte Thursday morning. Crader plead guilty to 213 child rape charges and two drug-related charges. Sentencing guidelines under the plea agreement call for 50 to 100 years in prison.

Crader was arrested in February. According to court documents, the incidents dated back to 2011.

Crader was also charged with statutory sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, aggravated indecent assault of child, sexual assault and indecent assault of a person less than 13 years old.

According to the criminal complaint, investigators said the abuse accusations came to light following a lecture about inappropriate touching that was held at one of the victim;s elementary school.

Police said Crader and the victims knew each other. Police said following the lecture, an 8-year-old girl told guidance counselors that she and her 10-year-old sister were being molested and that the abuse happened for at least two years.

The drug charges against Crader were filed after investigators said they found a small amount of marijuana in his home. Police said they found the drugs with his prescription medication when they went to arrest him on the child abuse charges.

Crader is scheduled to be sentenced in October.

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times