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Man charged with raping Cambria Co. child heads to trial
By Maria Miller
EBENSBURG, Pa. -- A New York man will head to trial on charges he raped a 4-year-old Cambria County girl. Ebensburg police allege it happened on multiple occasions in the borough and throughout the
Edward Smith Sr. is facing at least six felony charges, including incest. that stem back to January but he wasn't in court until Tuesday.
Police said they were notified of the allegations in October of last year but said they could never arrest Smith because they couldn't find him.They said it wasn't until this past September when he was arrested on drug charges in New York, that officers there saw his outstanding warrant and sent him back to Cambria County where he has been in jail ever since.
6 News was there Tuesday as Smith faced a judge for his preliminary hearing. He had nothing to say and just sat there as the child's grandmother took the stand, giving graphic testimony about strange sexual behavior she said she noticed her granddaughter doing at the age of 4 -- behavior and tendencies that are too graphic to discuss in a report.
Police said it was that grandmother who brought the child to the District Attorney's Office last year. After much counseling and an in-depth forensic interview, police said the child told them in detail what Smith allegedly did to her and what he made her do to him. Police allege the abuse happened several times beginning when the child was 3 years old.
Smith is pleading not guilty but his attorney had no closing arguments and no comment for the media.
"At today's preliminary hearing we had a grandmother that took the stand and testified that she observed abnormal sexual behavior with a minor child," said assistant Cambria County district attorney Gary Jubas. "As a result of that she reported it to the police, a forensic interview was made and as a result of that forensic interview these charges were filed."
Prosecutors said they have a recording of the forensic interview conducted with the child and hope to use that at the trial so the child, now 5 years old, will hopefully not be required to testify.
Smith remains in the Cambria County prison in lieu of $50,000 bond.