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Palmerton man waives preliminary hearing on sexual assault charges

  • TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS  Herman Hollenbach of Palmerton is shown being escorted to the office of District Judge William Kissner of Palmerton Wednesday morning. Hollenbach waived his right to a preliminary hearing.
    TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS Herman Hollenbach of Palmerton is shown being escorted to the office of District Judge William Kissner of Palmerton Wednesday morning. Hollenbach waived his right to a preliminary hearing.
Published January 31. 2013 05:02PM

A Palmerton man alleged to have sexually assaulted a minor will have his case heard in Carbon County Court.

Herman Hollenbach, 55, of Palmerton, was scheduled to have a preliminary hearing before District Judge William Kissner of Palmerton on Wednesday.

Instead, Hollenbach opted to waive his right to the hearing, and will appear before the county Court of Common Pleas for a pretrial status conference on Feb. 28.

Hollenbach has been charged with four counts of indecent assault, three counts of aggravated indecent assault, and one count each of indecent exposure and corruption of minors.

He was video arraigned by Kissner on Jan. 18. He remains incarcerated in the county prison in lieu of $250,000 straight bail.

According to the affidavit of probable cause filed by Palmerton Police Officer Kevin Buck:

On Jan. 17, at around 6:14 p.m., Buck was requested to contact the Palmerton Hospital Emergency Room, at which time he was advised that a mother was there with her juvenile daughter reporting that she had been sexually assaulted.

Upon arrival at the emergency room, Buck spoke with the staff, who directed him to a room where he was met by a female, the affidavit says.

Buck, along with the female and Patrolman Fedor, entered the hallway area of the E.R., at which time the female advised them of what had taken place.

The mother stated that her minor daughter had advised her aunt that she did not want to go to the house of the accused anymore because she wasn't comfortable there.

The aunt then advised the mother of this, and upon doing so, began asking the victim what was going on, at which point the victim told her mother that he had been touching her.

The victim went on to state that the last occurrence had happened probably around Thanksgiving.

The victim's mother was then advised that the police department would most likely not speak with her daughter that evening, but would rather set up a time to meet with the Advocacy Center, as the goal is to keep her daughter from having to relive these events over and over.

Buck then contacted the Advocacy Center, and received a call back, at which time an interview was requested to be scheduled.

Buck then spoke again with the mother, and advised her that when the police department hears from the Advocacy Center as to the time for an interview, they would contact her and advise her of the time.

The mother said that she understood this, and she signed a waiver of medical records form and was advised to contact the police department should she need anything else.

Upon departing the hospital, Buck and Fedor went to the home of the aunt, who provided the same version of events as the mother did.

On Jan. 18, at about 2:45 p.m., a forensic interview was administered at the Advocacy Center by Jennifer Aglialoro, at which time the victim identified Hollenbach, and said that on more than one occasion, he lured her to the shed on the property by telling her they were going to build a bird house.

Each time upon entering the shed, Hollenbach would tell her that he wanted to do something else, something more fun. On more than one occasion, the victim attempted to push away, and Hollenbach would state to her "come on in, it will be fun."

After each occurrence, the victim said that Hollenbach would then state he needed to go to the bathroom and would exit the shed through the door leading to the pool and relieve himself.

As recently as this month, Hollenbach would repeatedly smack the victim's buttocks and request a kiss on the lips.

The victim advised the forensic interviewer that after these occurrences, Hollenbach would tell her "don't tell ... or I'll go to jail."

Upon the completion of the interview, the victim's mother advised that the victim had been treated for several urinary tract infections over the past several months.

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