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January 25, 2007

Former UPJ staffer sentenced in sex case

Pitt-Johnstown’s former Alumni Relations manager has been sentenced to up to two years in jail for his involvement in a sexual relationship with a Cambria County teenager.

A Cambria County judge on Jan. 17 sentenced William A. Gillin to between one and two years in the county jail for corruption of a minor.

Gillin, who was suspended without pay after his arrest and later resigned, was among five men arrested last March for their involvement in the sexual relationships that developed following Internet chat room conversations with the boy.

Gillin pleaded guilty in August to two counts of indecent assault on a person less than 16 years old (a second-degree misdemeanor that carries a maximum sentence of two years for each count); two counts of unlawful contact or communication with a minor, and two counts of corruption of a minor, both of which are first-degree misdemeanors that carry a maximum five-year sentence for each count.

The most serious charges — corruption of a minor — led to the sentence of 1-2 years in the Cambria County Jail, said Cambria County District Attorney Patrick Kiniry. In addition, Gillin must pay a $10,000 fine plus the cost of prosecution and administrative costs. He also must serve five years of probation following his release from jail. In addition, Gillin was ordered to continue with counseling and to have no contact with juveniles in sexual situations, Kiniry said.

Gillin’s guilty plea on the unlawful contact charges invoked Megan’s Law, which required an evaluation by the state’s Sexual Offenders Assessment Board to determine whether Gillin would be deemed a sexually violent predator — a designation that would have required him to register with police for the rest of his life. The board found him not to be sexually violent. As a result, Gillin must only register as a sexual offender for 10 years.

A second former UPJ employee involved in the case, Jeffrey Haire, who had been a part-time police officer on the Johnstown campus, pleaded guilty in August to one count of corruption of a minor, a first-degree misdemeanor. He was fined and sentenced in November to between nine and 24 months of house arrest.

The boy’s age has been a crucial factor in the resolution of the case.

Gillin became involved with the teen before the boy turned 16, which is the age of consent in Pennsylvania. Haire faced lesser charges because he became involved after the boy had turned 16.

—Kimberly K. Barlow

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