Judge denies petition filed by Youngsville man convicted of indecent assault

A Youngsville man who continues to fight an indecent assault conviction in federal court has had one effort denied and another effectively suspended.

Joseph G. Hensley, Youngsville, was sentenced to 36 to 108 months in a state correctional facility in 2016 after he pled guilty to aggravated indecent assault – victim less than 16 years old.

According to court documents, “the defendant engaged in sexual intercourse with a female… by using forcible compulsion when he held her down and took off her clothes, locked the door, and did not permit her to leave the residence, even after she pushed him away.”

“You are before the court for forcible aggravated indecent assault,” Judge Maureen Skerda said at sentencing.

“It wasn’t what it looks like,” Hensley said.

“You’re telling me the victim isn’t really the victim?” Skerda asked.

“That’s the truth,” Hensley said.

He currently has three cases pending in federal court.

In one where Warren County Jail Warden Jon Collins is listed as a defendant, Hensley wrote the court in a letter filed on Nov. 14 to say that, on July 11, he was “transferred to the Forensic Treatment Center (SCI Waymart)” and, as a result, “does not have access to his property. Leaving him no access to this case. Hindering him from responding.”

U.S. Magistrate Judge Richard Lanzillo ruled on Nov. 19 that the court “will administratively close this matter until such time as Hensley is transferred to a different location and has access to his legal materials.

“It’s Hensley’s burden to notify the Court of any future transfer or if his legal materials are made available to him at this current location. Upon such notification, the court will open this case and reset applicable deadlines.”

Last month, in another case, a federal district judge dismissed a writ of habeas corpus petition filed that challenged his original plea and sentencing.

The Warren County District Attorney’s office is identified as a respondent in this case.

That filing indicates the victim in the original case was 15-years-old.

Hensley claimed ineffective assistance of counsel against both his attorney at the time of the plea and his attorney post-conviction but District Judge Susan Paradise Baxter ruled that Hensley did not establish “cause” to “overcome the default of any of the claims he raised in his Petition. Therefore, the Court will dismiss his claims with prejudice because they are procedurally defaulted.”

That order was filed on October 29.


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