Bail stays at $50,000 in Shamokin rape case; plea deal offered
SHAMOKIN - A 23-year-old former city man charged with raping a 14-year-old girl in December has been offered a plea agreement by the district attorney's office.
Assistant district attorney Michael Toomey said Jacob Ryan Engle, of Berrysburg, who waived his right to a preliminary hearing Tuesday morning, will be given the opportunity in the Court of Common Pleas to plead guilty to a felony rape charge that carries a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment.
In addition to rape, Engle is charged by Shamokin Patrolman Raymond Siko II with felonies of unlawful contact with a minor, corruption of minors, statutory sexual assault, sexual assault
and two counts of aggravated assault, and two misdemeanor counts of indecent assault. The additional charges would be withdrawn if Engle and a county judge accept the plea agreement.
Magisterial District Judge John Gembic III denied a request by public defender Melissa Norton to reduce her client's $50,000 cash bail and he was recommitted to the county jail to await a Sept. 15 date in plea court in Sunbury, where he can plead guilty or no contest, or seek a trial by pleading not guilty.
Norton told the judge Engle doesn't have a vehicle or driver's license, but has full-time employment. If released on bail, she said the defendant wouldn't pose a threat to the alleged victim because he lives approximately 40 miles away.
Toomey objected to reducing the bail, citing the seriousness of the offenses.
Engle told the judge he understood the ramifications of forfeiting his right to a hearing at the magisterial court level. He remained silent when asked by a reporter after the hearing to comment about the charges. Norton also declined comment.
Engle is accused of having sexual intercourse with the victim at his former residence on North Orange Street.
During a June 23 interview with police and Child Advocate Center officials in Northumberland, the victim said Engle picked her up at her Snyder County home around Christmas time and took her to his home in Shamokin. Police said Engle was in the process of moving from Shamokin to Trevorton at the time and the victim was helping him move.
The victim said she didn't tell anyone about the incident because she was scared and concerned for a family member who was Engle's girlfriend.
The victim also said she had received text messages from Engle that she called "not normal."
During an interview with police, Engle admitted having sexual intercourse with the victim and said she tried to stop him, but he forced himself on her.
Engle said he texted the victim several times after the incident and asked her to go on a date, but she declined.
The defendant also told police he engaged in sexual intercourse with the girl in a portable toilet in the Herndon area.
Engle told police he went to counseling after the two incidents because his actions bothered him.