WESTMORELAND COUNTY, Pa. - A Westmoreland County man on Thursday admitted that he secretly taped his 2009 sexual assault of a then 8-year-old girl in his living room.
Timothy Eugene Shearer, 54, of Avonmore pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of producing child pornography. He still faces 17 state charges ranging from child rape to indecent exposure involving the girl and a
boy who was 4 years old at the time.
Shearer and his attorney, Assistant Federal Public Defender Thomas Livingston, told U.S. District Judge Mark Hornak that Shearer suffers from short-term memory loss, and Shearer frequently asked the judge to repeat himself during the plea hearing.
Shearer told the judge he did understand why he was in court on Thursday.
“Yeah, I messed up,” he said.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Lieber Smolar said the investigation began when the girl told police in August that Shearer had been sexually assaulting her since she was about 5 or 6 years old.
Police obtained a search warrant and seized a laptop, cameras and other equipment in September, but Shearer denied having sex with the girl, she said.
Family members subsequently discovered a hidden video camera containing a tape labeled “Wildlife 3” that recorded one of the sexual assaults, Smolar said.
Confronted with that evidence, “He admitted to having sexual contact and taking sexually explicit photos of her,” Smolar said.
Hornak scheduled Shearer's sentencing for Aug. 7. Shearer, who is facing 15 to 30 years in prison on the federal charge, is being held without bail.
This article was written by Channel 11’s news exchange partners at TribLIVE.