Punxsutawney man arraigned on sex assault charges

Staff Writer

A Punxsutawney man was arraigned on charges including sexual assault before District Judge Jacqueline Mizerock July 17.

The allegations against Douglas Russell Bartlebaugh, 24, North Jefferson Street, stem from a report of rape involving a minor first made to police earlier this year.

Punxsutawney-based Pennsylvania State Police first received the report on March 17. A third party told police the victim had relayed being raped on numerous occasions and claimed to be afraid of Bartlebaugh. The complainant also alleged that Bartlebaugh had been bragging about having sex with the victim. At the time of the initial report, it was believed that the victim — now an adult — had been between the ages of 14 and 16 when the encounters occurred.

On June 21 and 24, police interviewed the victim at the Punxsutawney barracks. The victim told police the sexual assaults began when she was approximately 13 years old and had continued until she was 17. She alleged that the incidents took place at private residences in three different locations in and around Punxsutawney. She described other alleged sex acts as well, and told police the encounters were never consensual; she always said no.

On July 1, police interviewed Bartlebaugh, who was read his Miranda rights and waiver beforehand. Police reported that Bartlebaugh admitted to having sexual intercourse with the victim when he was between the ages of 15 and 17, which would have made her between the ages of 10 and 12. He reportedly said these incidents occurred at one of the three residences. More encounters occurred at the second of the three after he moved; he said he had sexual intercourse with the victim once at that location. He then moved to the third residence, where he estimated that they had sexual intercourse seven times. Police said Bartlebaugh initiated the sexual intercourse on each occasion.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, Bartlebaugh told police the sexual encounters never lasted long because the victim would ask him to stop. The affidavit filed by police quoted Bartlebaugh as saying, “I was lucky to even start, she would say to stop.”

As a result of the investigation, Bartlebaugh faces charges of sexual assault, statutory sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, aggravated indecent assault victim less than 16 years of age, incest, indecent exposure, indecent assault and indecent assault victim less than 16 years of age.