CLEARFIELD – A Clearfield man will be spending time in state prison for having sex with and running away with a 15-year-old girl.
Austin Jay Patterson, 23, was charged for his relationship with the teen and for taking her with him when he went to Nebraska in 2016.
Patterson was sentenced to 15 months to 30 months in state prison on Tuesday for statutory sexual assault, two counts of hindering apprehension, flight to avoid apprehension, dissimilating explicit sexual material with a minor, unlawful conduct with a minor, criminal use of communication facility, corruption of minors, endangering the welfare of children and disorderly conduct.
This sentence will run consecutive to Patterson’s current parole violation sentence of nine months to two years in state prison.
Even though he was found not to be a sexually violent predator after an evaluation, Patterson must register with law enforcement under Megan’s Law.
The charges stem from incidents beginning in June of 2016 when the two began a sexual relationship. In October, they left the area and lived for a while in hotels in Nebraska before moving to a trailer court where they were apprehended on Nov. 30, 2016.
Prior to sentencing, Patterson’s attorney, Curtis Irwin, asked the judge to consider a concurrent sentence.
Patterson also spoke on his own behalf stating he is taking classes in prison to better himself. He said he and the victim have a baby now and plan to stay together.
Assistant District Attorney Jendi Schwab responded by saying that because of the serious nature of the offenses, she felt a consecutive sentence was appropriate.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, the victim and Patterson went missing Oct. 6, 2016.
She and Patterson had met when she asked him to give her boxing lessons, she told police. The two kept in touch through text messages. They reportedly first had sex sometime in the summer of 2016.
Because she was not allowed to be with Patterson, the girl arranged with another man, Kevin Osborn to travel to the Washington D.C. area where Patterson was staying.
She spent the weekend of Sept. 30 to Oct. 2 there before Osborn and Patterson drove her back to Clearfield, officials said.
In his interview with police, Patterson said he and the girl started having conversations through Facebook in May or June of 2016. They communicated through text messages and other social media.
He said they became more serious on or around June 29, 2016.
Patterson was facing charges in a burglary case, but instead of appearing for court, he left the area.
He confirmed to police that he and Osborn came to Clearfield to pick up the girl to spend the weekend with him in Waldorf, Md., in late September of 2016. She was returned home on Oct. 2, 2016.
A few days later, he and Osborn traveled back to Clearfield and that is when Patterson talked with the teen about running away together.
Before leaving Clearfield, they smashed their phones and threw them in the river near the Joseph & Elizabeth Shaw Public Library. Osborn drove them to Nebraska, according to the complaint.
The child was conceived Oct. 5, 2016, according to medical records.
Osborn pleaded guilty in August to hindering apprehension and disorderly conduct. He was sentenced to 30 days to one year in jail and two years probation.