York County jury convicts Newberry Twp. man of raping 4-year-old
York County jurors have convicted a Newberry Township man of child rape and related offenses.
On Thursday, they found Paul Michael Pietrusza, 26, guilty of the felonies of rape of a child and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, as well as the misdemeanors of indecent assault of a child less than 13 and corruption of a minor, according to court records.
Newberry Township Police said Pietrusza blindfolded a 4-year-old girl before sexually assaulting her at his Old Trail Road home on Jan. 15, 2019, but the girl was able to see what he was doing from below the blindfold.
He put his penis in her mouth, court documents state.
Sentencing is set for Jan. 25, court records state.
Prosecutors asked the judge to remand Pietrusza to York County Prison as he awaited sentencing, citing the severity of his crimes and the amount of prison time he's facing, according to Kyle King, spokesman for the York County District Attorney's Office.
Presiding Common Pleas Judge Amber A. Kraft allowed Pietrusza to remain free but ordered he be on house arrest and have no contact with his victim, King said.
Pietrusza will undergo a sexual offender assessment prior to his sentencing hearing to determine if he should be deemed a sexually violent predator under the state's Megan's Law, records state.
Mandatory sentence sought: Senior deputy prosecutor Melanie Wiesman, who tried the case, will ask the judge to allow the imposition of a mandatory 10-year minimum sentence on the child-rape charge, according to King.
Defense attorney George Marros did not immediately return a message seeking comment Thursday.
When Newberry Township Police questioned Pietrusza in March 2019, he claimed the child had asked for candy and he covered her eyes so she couldn't see the adult toy in a drawer where he kept the candy, according to court documents.
But when asked by investigators how he thought the girl felt about what happened that day, Pietrusza responded by saying, "upset, terrified, completely and utterly alone," court documents state.
And when asked by police why he thought that, Pietrusza said, "because someone she trusted did something like this," according to documents.
— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.