WILKES-BARRE – An attorney for a man charged with sexually assaulting two young girls told a judge Wednesday the allegations against his client were fabricated by one of the victims because she had been disciplined by her parents.
Attorney Joseph Sklarosky Sr. said a then-16-year-old girl lied about the allegations to police because she had been disciplined for conduct between her and her boyfriend, and that he would like to present that evidence at David Troy Zarn’s November trial.
Typically, that information would be prohibited from being used because victims are protected by the Rape Shield Act, which prevents evidence of the alleged victim’s past sexual conduct being introduced into a case.
The conduct – conversations regarding sex – is the reason the girl told police Zarn, 47, of Mountain Top, sexually abused her beginning when she was 6 years old.
Judge Lesa Gelb ruled Sklarosky could use that information at Zarn’s Nov. 4 trial on three counts of aggravated indecent assault and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and two counts each of endangering the welfare of children and corruption of minors.
Deputy District Attorney Alexis Falvello argued the relationship the 16-year-old had with her boyfriend is not pertinent to the trial.
According to court records, in September 2012 the 16-year-old girl told her boyfriend about the sexual assaults, and his mother reported the incident to authorities.
The 16-year-old was interviewed by a county Children and Youth worker, and she claimed Zarn had sexually assaulted her. A 14-year-old girl was then interviewed, and she told investigators the assaults occurred almost every weekend and had been going on for several years.
When investigators spoke to Zarn about the alleged abuse, Zarn said he “had no idea” why the girls would make those types of accusations and denied any inappropriate behavior, according to the criminal complaint.
Sklarosky also asked prosecutors to provide specific dates as to when the alleged abuse occurred because it is possible his client could provide an alibi for the dates.
Falvello argued sexual assault victims aren’t likely to keep track of dates, and that Sklarosky could question any witnesses about dates during the trial.
Falvello argued in court papers that the 16-year-old reported the alleged abuse at the hands of Zarn to her boyfriend long before she was disciplined, and that if the girl is forced to testify, she will be re-victimized “at the hands of (Zarn) once again.”