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Man convicted of sex crimes to stay behind bars until sentencing

A Tiona man who faces the prospect of decades in state prison on several sex offense convictions will remain behind bars until he is sentenced.

Kelly E. Patz, 49, petitioned the court for release for roughly three weeks prior to his sentencing. Judge Gregory Hammond denied that request on Friday.

Tyler Lindquist, representing Patz, told the court that bail was initially unsecured at the preliminary hearing and that there have been no issues with his client appearing for court or violating his terms of release. He said the state even let him keep his job as an interstate truck driver while the case was pending.

He said Patz is asking for the time in order to shore up some issues with his family.

Deputy Attorney General Alicia Werner said though that the conviction at trial is a “legitimate change in circumstances.” She cited a prior conviction for indecent exposure to a child as well as potential length of his sentence.

Hammond said the maximum penalty is 80 years and that a middle of the standard range sentence still carries a 12 year minimum.

He said that “give him a reason not to appear.”

Hammond cited testimony that showed Patz is a “serial sexual predator of young boys” and was critical of Patz trial testimony that, he said, showed a level of narcissism, a lack of honesty and a believe that he was a victim of the system.

He ruled that he believes Patz is a flight risk and would be a danger to the community if released until sentencing.

He was found guilty at trial in June 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.

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.

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