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Man found guilty in split verdict

A Tiona man faces a maximum of 80 years in prison after a jury returned a split verdict on a litany of sex charges.

Kelly E. Patz, 49, Route 6, was charged back in July 2019. The trail was held on Tuesday and Wednesday.

He was convicted on nine charges and acquitted on 12 more.

He was found guilty on the following charges: contact/communication with a minor — sexual offenses, two counts of statutory sexual assault and two counts of sexual assault — all felonies — as well as two counts each of misdemeanor corruption of minors and endangering the welfare of children.

The jury returned not guilty decisions on charges including two counts of rape, four counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, two counts of statutory sexual assault, two counts of aggravated indecent assault and three counts of indecent assault.

In the affidavit of probable cause, the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General said Patz hired the male victim — then 9 or 10 years old — and others in 2000 to do some work on the patio at his Third Avenue home in the City of Warren.

After a month of that work, Patz asked the boy to help him sell novelty items at local flea markets, according to the affidavit. The work required early morning departures and overnight stays.

According to investigators, the victim said he would wake up to Patz crawling into bed with him or would wake up and he would already be there.

“While in this position, the defendant would attempt to reach inside of victim’s clothing” and fondle him, according to the affidavit. When the boy initially resisted, Patz offered him $100, which he would tuck inside of the victim’s clothing.

The victim “stated his family was poor and he succumbed to the offer of money” and allowed Patz to fondle him numerous times at several locations in Warren County — the Third Avenue residence, a campground in Warren, and at fairs or flea markets in Tidioute, Warren, Russell, and Clarendon, according to the affidavit.

Even when the victim’s family moved several states away, the alleged abuse continued, according to the affidavit, with Patz visiting the family while he was a truck driver.

The family moved back to Warren when the victim was under the age of 16, according to the affidavit, and still the alleged assaults continued.

“The defendant would often supply victim with alcohol and or marijuana before the defendant carried out the acts,” police said. While the victim would drink and or smoke, “there was never a time victim stated he was not conscious or aware of the defendant’s actions.”

“Victim stated that after the defendant was completed with the assault, victim would continue to consume the alcohol in an attempt to deal with the emotional effects of being assaulted,” according to the affidavit.

An order signed by Judge Gregory Hammond in the wake of the trial revoked Patz’ bail. He is behind bars at the Warren County Jail pending sentencing.

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