LEWISBURG — The second trial of a Union County man accused of raping a child ended Monday with a conviction.
Charles J. Westfall, 49, of the Mifflinburg area, could receive to up to 25 years in prison if given the maximum sentence. Assistant District Attorney Phillip Sassaman said the length of the term would be up to President Judge Michael T. Hudock on sentencing day.
Westfall was convicted of rape of child, statutory sexual assault (defendant) 11 years older, aggravated indecent assault complaintant less than 13 years old and indecent assault of person less than 13 years old, all felonies.
Westfall’s first trial in December 2019 in Union County Court ended without a verdict. The jury of seven women and five men was “hopelessly deadlocked” and the charges were refiled.
The investigation began in November 2018 with a ChildLine referral in which the victim told peers at school that a man and her “do things only married people do.” A classmate reported the allegation to a teacher and the school referred the matter to the Union County Children and Youth Department.
A video interview of the victim was shown at the first trial in which she recounted how Westfall wanted to “play.” The victim indicated there were several sexual encounters, each unfolding much the same way.
The victim, now age 12, testified at both trials, earning praise for bravery from Sassaman. The victim’s mother also noted her daughter’s bravery and was pleased with the outcome.