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Competency check ordered for man accused of molesting girl

December 22, 2012
Morning Journal News

LISBON - A Salem man accused of molesting a girl at the church they attended will be evaluated to determine his mental competency to stand trial.

Roger L. Gonda, 65, of Franklin Street, is charged in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court with two counts of gross sexual imposition and one count of sexual importuning. According to court record, Gonda molested the 5-year-old girl on or about the months of June and July 2012 and on July 29, 2012. This resulted in the gross sexual imposition charges.

The sexual importuning charge has to do with Gonda allegedly telling the girl in crude and explicit terms how he wanted to molest her. This occurred on July 29, while she was reportedly sitting on his lap.

Assistant County Prosecutor Tim McNicol reported that at the times of the alleged crimes Gonda attended Southeast Friends Church in Salem, serving as a volunteer for the junior church services held for children during regular services. McNicol said the crimes occurred during the junior church portion of the service.

Gonda was scheduled to go on trial this week, but the county public defender representing him filed a motion asking he be evaluated to determine his mental competency to stand trial. A new hearing date will be scheduled once the evaluation is performed and the report becomes available.



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