Woman charged in infant's molestation found competent for trial
A York City woman accused of sexually assaulting a newborn and recording it as pornography is competent to go to trial, a judge ruled Friday. And her local case is clear to move forward at least a couple of steps as she also faces a federal case.
York County Common Pleas Court Judge Gregory Snyder lifted a stay on the case against Marisel Toro, 21, during a hearing Friday.
The decision came after Chief Deputy Public Defender Diana Spurlin, a stand-in attorney for Toro during the hearing, said a psychiatrist’s evaluation indicated Toro is mentally competent to stand trial. Spurlin also said the public defender’s office is no longer pursuing that issue as a result.
Toro and another man, Wyatt Jones, 26, also of York, are each charged with 10 felony counts that include involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, photographing or filming a child sex act on a computer, disseminating images of child sex acts, child pornography and indecent assault of a minor.
The couple was arrested in April 2021 following an investigation in which police said they sexually assaulted an infant for months, starting when the child was about 1 month old.
The molestation was also allegedly recorded on a mobile phone and shared to the social media app Kik. Police in Boone, North Carolina, discovered the images, tracked them back to York and notified police here.
The case against Jones advanced to the common pleas level in June 2021.
Toro’s case has remained in a local magisterial district court while the stay was in place for the competency evaluation. Now that it has been lifted, the district court judge can hold a preliminary hearing regarding moving the case to common pleas on May 23, according to court documents.
But, even advancing to common pleas, the case is expected to be on hold while Toro and Jones face charges in a related federal case.
They were indicted March 2 with a complaint of 23 counts that include conspiracy to produce child pornography, production of child pornography, distribution of child pornography and possession of child pornography dating from October 2020 to April 2021.
The federal case will apparently have to play out before the local cases against Jones and Toro can be resolved. A federal judge in Harrisburg granted a request Tuesday to reschedule the trial, which was set to begin Monday, for July 2, court records show.
— Reach Aimee Ambrose at email@example.com or on Twitter at @aimee_TYD.