Rape charges leveled against Hallstead man

BY STACI WILSON

Police say a Hallstead man who took children fishing and also held fishing derbies sexually assaulted the granddaughter of one of his friends.

John Katchmore, 69, is scheduled to appear in New Milford District Court on Oct. 29 for a preliminary hearing.

Katchmore has been charged by Tpr. Mark Mulvey with rape, aggravated indecent assault of a child and indecent assault of a child under the age of 13.

According to the police affidavit, the girl, now 14, was between the ages of eight and 11 when the assaults occurred.

The Susquehanna County Independent does not identify the victims of alleged sexual assaults.

The girl, who resides in New York, first disclosed the allegations in a note to her mother in March, several years after the alleged abuse, according to police. The victim had also told two friends prior to disclosing the information to her mother.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, the sexual assaults occurred in Binghamton, N.Y., and at Katchmore’s Hallstead home.

The victim reported the incidents to the Binghamton City Police Department on March 8 and Pennsylvania State Police, Gibson, was then contacted by Binghamton PD.

The New York law enforcement agency also told Tpr. Mulvey that child had been taken by the mother to a doctor for a physical examination after she disclosed the information.

According to the affidavit, the child and her younger siblings visited Katchmore’s home with her grandmother.

Katchmore, the victim told police, took the children fishing and also held fishing derbies.

The abuse first happened, she told police, when the children were left in Katchmore’s care while she went shopping.

The victim told police Katchmore first assaulted her when she was about eight years old in his bedroom during a game of hide-and-seek and stopped when he heard one of the other children approaching the room.

Katchmore told the girl not to say anything about the incident because he would get in trouble and that her grandmother would also be mad, according to the affidavit.

Another assault, also during a game of hide-and-seek, according to the affidavit, happened when she was about 11 years old.

The victim also told police that there had been other instances when Katchmore had touched her inappropriately when he would take for rides on an ATV.

According to the affidavit, after the second assault the girl told her mother that she didn’t want to go to Katchmore’s home again because she felt uncomfortable around him; but did not disclose the alleged sexual abuse at that time.

Katchmore was arraigned Sept. 28 before District Judge Jodi Cordner and released on $50,000 unsecured bail.