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Johnstown man deemed sexually violent predator, sentenced to prison

By: Maria Miller

EBENSBURG, Pa. -- A Johnstown man tried and convicted on 51 counts of rape and sexual assault in August was sentenced to prison Thursday morning after a judge called his actions despicable, low and the worst thing he could do to a child.

With the help of a walker, Albert Baldish Sr. was escorted out of sentencing Thursday, covering his face but still professing his innocence.

"She's a pathological liar," he said.

Baldish was convicted in August on 51 counts of rape and sexual assault for molesting a now 28-year-old woman from the time she was 6 until she was 12. Her encounters were each documented in detail during emotional testimony at Baldish's trial.

"He can deny it all he wants but the jury has spoken. They heard all the evidence. They heard the victim testify," said Beth Bolton-Penna, an assistant district attorney for Cambria County.

Even though he still maintained his innocence, Judge Timothy Creany said he feels the jury's verdict was well supported and correct, telling Baldish he violated the girls' trust and couldn't imagine subjecting any child to what he did and couldn't imagine requiring a child to keep it a secret.

"The victim was very compelling and the detail and her serenity and emotion she showed on the stand, I think proved to everyone that she was in fact telling the truth and he is guilty of these crimes," Bolton-Penna said. "She is a brave individual, a powerful individual and I think it should give hope and strength and courage to those who have suffered as a child."

On Thursday Baldish was deemed a sexually violent predator after an evaluation from a licensed psychologist.

Baldish was sentenced to 35-70 years in state prison, which he told 6 News he plans to appeal.

"I believe that we earned a not guilty and I was surprised by the jury's verdict, but that is the system that we have" said defense attorney Ryan Gleason. "If 12 jurors convict a person, you have to face the sentence. He has the appellate process available to him, the judge explained that and we have planned to explore that."

Baldish showed no emotion in court. He did however keep his gaze in the direction of the victim. That woman told the judge she still cares about Baldish and always will, but said he needed to be punished and kept away from other potential victims.

 
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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times

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