Ridgway man bound over for court on juvenile sexual abuse case

Photo by Brian Stockman – Michael Allen Chittester, 26, of Ridgway, is being escorted from his recent preliminary hearing at Magisterial District Judge James L. Martin’s office in Johnsonburg. Chittester is charged with 1,001 counts of felony and misdemeanor charges of sexual abuse against a juvenile.
By: 
Amy Cherry
Staff Writer

A Ridgway man has been bound over for trial on all charges after allegedly repeatedly raping a juvenile over an extended period of time.
A preliminary hearing for Michael Allen Chittester, 26, of Ridgway, took place Wednesday at the office of Magisterial District Judge James L. Martin of Johnsonburg. He is facing 1,001 felony and misdemeanor charges in relation to the incident.
Judge Martin also denied a request to reduce bail by Defense Attorney Gary Knaresboro, who is representing Chittester. Martin recently increased bail for Chittester from $50,000 to $150,000 cash. Chittester is currently incarcerated at Elk County Prison.
Among the charges filed against Chittester are: 200 first-degree felony charges of rape forcible compulsion; 400 first-degree felony charges of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse (IDISI) – forcible corruption; 200 second-degree felony charges of aggravated indecent assault – forcible compulsion; a third-degree felony charge of corruption of minors – defendant age 18 or above; and 200 first-degree misdemeanor charges of indecent exposure.
Elk County Assistant District Attorney Thomas Coppolo began by calling Pennsylvania State Police Inspector Josiah Reiner to the stand. During his testimony, Reiner explained the victim’s mother contacted the Ridgway-based Pennsylvania State Police on Oct. 9 at 9:30 p.m. to report her child was being forcibly raped by Chittester, and that the last time it had happened was on Saturday, Oct. 6. The Daily Press has redacted identifying information from the affidavit of probable cause in an effort to protect the identity of rape and juvenile victims and their families.

For more on this story, see today's print edition of The Daily Press.

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