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Article published February 19, 2014
Man gets up to 30 years for sexual assaults on girl
An Allegheny County man who made more than 100 pornographic images of a young Butler County girl during a four-year course of escalating sexual assaults will spend up to 30 years in prison. Butler County Judge William Shaffer on Wednesday declared 50-year-old Ronald Morgan a sexually violent predator and sentenced him to 182 to 364 months in state prison. Shaffer presided over Morgan’s trial last May, when the victim testified that Morgan, who had been a friend to her mother, plied her with gifts and trips. The girl alleged she was assaulted at Morgan’s home on Jacks Run Road in Ross Township or when she accompanied him to hotel rooms. The girl alleged Morgan began fondling her when she was 12, then escalated his assaults over the years to intercourse. Among the evidence presented to the jury were more than 100 photographs and a dozen videos of the girl on Morgan’s home computers. The assaults ended in April 2011 when the then-15-year-old girl disclosed the assaults to her father. The jury convicted Morgan of 217 sex crimes: two counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and possession of a controlled substance and one count each of statutory sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault and corruption of minors. He also was convicted of 103 charges each of making and owning child pornography. A member of the state’s sexual offender assessment board testified during Wednesday’s sentencing hearing that Morgan has paraphilia, a sexually-oriented mental defect that makes him likely to offend again. Morgan, who has denied the allegations, plans to appeal.