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Hearing scheduled for suspect charged with raping girl, 14

Published February 19. 2013 05:01PM

A hearing has been scheduled for a Palmerton man accused of raping a 14-year-old girl.

Blaine Kirchner, 50, is scheduled to have a preliminary hearing before District Judge William Kissner of Palmerton at 1:15 p.m. Friday, March 15.

Kirchner faces charges of one count each of rape, statutory sexual assault, indecent exposure, and corruption of minors, as well as two counts each of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault, and indecent assault.

He is currently lodged in Carbon County Prison in lieu of $100,000 straight bail.

According to the affidavit of probable cause filed by Trooper Joseph Campbell, of the Pennsylvania State Police:

The crime is alleged to have occurred between Sept. of 2011 and Sept. 23, 2012, while the victim was between the ages of 14 and 15, according to the affidavit.

Kirchner is alleged to have had inappropriate contact with the victim on numerous occasions within the residence in Lower Towamensing Township, the affidavit says.

The sexual assaults reportedly took place in the lower level of the residence where Kirchner had his belongings and a bedroom.

The victim disclosed the abuse to her school bus driver, and the school bus aide on Oct. 1, 2012. The victim's father contacted Pennsylvania State Police at Lehighton that day and reported the incident.

On Oct. 2, 2012, at around 8:40 a.m., Campbell contacted Jill Gessinger in regards to this investigation to see if it had been reported to their agency. Gessinger said that they had received the referral, and the case had been assigned to her.

Gessinger then said that the allegation was that Kirchner had sexually assaulted the victim on numerous occasions.

Campbell then advised Gessinger that he would be contacting the Children's Advocacy Center in order to schedule a forensic interview.

On Oct. 9, 2012, Campbell attended the forensic interview at the Center, which was conducted by Child Forensic Interviewer Kristen Fetcho.

The victim related that the individual who was responsible for these acts was Kirchner.

The victim then related that the abuse started when she was 14 years old, and that she does not believe that anyone ever saw anything that happened between her and Kirchner, because he always told her to be quiet and not to make any noise or tell anyone, or they would get into trouble.

The interviewer asked the victim why she decided to tell someone, and she said that she told her bus driver and the aid on the school bus because she wanted to.

The victim denied ever being touched by anyone else or ever being intimate with anyone else.

On Oct. 10, 2012, at around 12:15 p.m., Kirchner arrived at Pennsylvania State Police at Lehighton for an interview in reference to this investigation.

Campbell advised Kirchner of his Miranda rights, which he acknowledged, and he agreed to answer questions in regards to this investigation.

Kirchner then related that he never sexually assaulted the victim. He further related that he has no idea of why the victim would be making this story up and lying about him, because he always thought she liked him.

Kirchner denied ever exposing himself to the victim, or touching the victim in a sexual manner ever in the past. Kirchner agreed to take a polygraph examination in association with this investigation.

On Oct. 25, 2012, at 9 a.m., Kirchner arrived at Pennsylvania State Police at Lehighton for a polygraph examination in regards to this investigation.

Trooper Alan Pietkiewicz conducted the examination, which Kirchner subsequently failed, and displayed signs of deception on the questions regarding sexual contact with the victim.

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