CLEARFIELD – The trial got under way Wednesday before Judge Paul E. Cherry for a Clearfield man accused of sexually assaulting two young girls.
Justin J. Centra, 41, was charged by Lawrence Township police with aggravated indecent assault of child, criminal attempt-aggravated indecent assault of child and three counts of corruption of minors.
He was also charged with indecent assault-less than 13 years (two counts), indecent assault without consent of other, indecent exposure and terroristic threats.
Centra was later charged with 20 counts each of intimidating a witness/victim, intimidates person from providing or withholding information and obstruction in child abuse cases.
The first victim was at Centra’s residence and awoke around 3 a.m. Aug. 24, 2020 because she felt someone rubbing her leg. She saw Centra kneeling next to the bed and said he tried to touch her inappropriately.
She said she rolled over onto her side to stop him, and tried to make him think that she was asleep. After he left the room, she picked up her phone and messaged a friend.
The victim told her friend she couldn’t sleep and was scared to. Then, she said Centra came back in, asking if she wanted to see his private area and if she would show him hers.
She shook her head “no” both times, she testified, and then Centra told her not to tell anyone. She immediately told her friend what happened and she arranged for her mother to pick up the victim.
The victim said as she ran outside, Centra stood at the door asking her not to go. She said she was taken home where she eventually told her parents what happened and police were contacted.
The victim’s friend and friend’s mother corroborated her testimony. Both said the victim was visibly emotional and upset over what Centra had done to her when she got in their car.
When another girl (victim 2) learned what happened, the first victim said victim 2 contacted her saying Centra had sexually assaulted her in the past, too.
Victim 2 took the stand late Wednesday afternoon and said when she learned what happened to victim 1, she began sobbing but managed to tell a relative Centra had assaulted her years earlier.
Police were contacted and a forensic interview was conducted at the Child Advocacy Center of Clearfield County. Victim 2 will resume her testimony Thursday morning.
In addition, the prosecution played a phone call between Centra and two of his relatives in December of 2020. He wanted them to speak to the district attorney and throw victim 1 under the bus.
“Then, the DA doesn’t have a case,” Centra stated. He also directed them to “throw their weight around” and refuse to leave the courthouse until he was released from county jail.
Deputy District Attorney Trudy Lumadue is prosecuting the case for the commonwealth. Centra is being represented by defense attorney Patrick Lavelle. The trial is scheduled through Friday.