Coolbaugh Township Man Not Guilty in Rape Case

A Coolbaugh Township man who was pursued for sex by a 15 year old girl was found not guilty of statutory rape Monday by a jury of eight men and four women.

The girl admitted in court that she crawled into bed with Bruce Hutchinson, 22, of A Pocono Country Place while he was asleep at a friend’s house.

Under Pennsylvania law, intercourse with a girl under 16 years of age when there is more than four years age difference between them is statutory rape.

The girl, a sophomore in high school, said she got into his bed even though she did not know his last name, and they began to have sex.

She testified Hutchinson stopped during the sex act, but she wanted him to continue and tried to persuade him to put on a condom, but he refused.

The girl got home late and was punished by her parents, and police were called, according to court testimony.

The case turned on whether the girl had misled Hutchinson into believing she was 17 years of age.

“The jury reached the correct decision. The evidence was strong that he did not know what her age was,” said Michael A. Ventrella, Monroe County Public Defender.

Several acquaintances of both the man and the girl testified that the girl had a reputation as a liar.

Sherri Stephan argued the case for the Monroe County district attorney and Judge Jerome P. Cheslock presided.