LEWISBURG — A mistrial was declared Tuesday after a jury was unable to render a verdict against a local man whose charges included child rape.
Charles J. Westfall II, 48, of Mifflinburg, was accused of a felony count of rape of a child, aggravated indecent assault of a person less than age 13, indecent assault of a person less than age 13 and statutory sexual assault by a person 11 years older. Westfall allegedly had repeated encounters with the child, who was age 10 in 2018, at a Mifflinburg-area mobile home.
Proceedings began Monday before Union County President Judge Michale T. Hudock. The jury of seven women and five men were given the case at about 1:35 p.m. Tuesday following instructions by Hudock.
The panel asked for a transcript of a recorded interview with the victim after about 90 minutes. But Hudock noted the transcript had not been entered into evidence; thus jurors had to rely on their memory. However, the jury received printed lists of the specifics the commonwealth had to prove beyond a reasonable doubt for each charge.
The jury returned at about 4:30 p.m. with news that they were unable to reach a verdict.
Hudock reminded the group that they were charged with making a decision and sent them back to the jury room. They announced they were “hopelessly deadlocked” at about 6:35 and Hudock declared a mistrial.
Hudock noted the next step would be up to the district attorney’s office.
Westfall would then face one count of each felony as the second count of each was dismissed. The same bail conditions would exist for the defendant since the complaint was first filed nearly a year ago.
Prosecutor Phillip Sassaman, assistant district attorney, noted in summing up the commonwealth’s case that p30 protein, a component of seminal fluid, was found on the victim. It would be unlikely to be there without sexual contact.