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Jury convicts Nissley of sexual assault charges

Posted 3/21/14

 

A former Lower Dauphin School Board member faces a prison sentence of at least 10 to 20 years after a jury convicted him of sexual assault charges involving a child on Friday, March 21 in Dauphin County Court.

It took about 10 hours …

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Jury convicts Nissley of sexual assault charges

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nissleyrodneypicA former Lower Dauphin School Board member faces a prison sentence of at least 10 to 20 years after a jury convicted him of sexual assault charges involving a child on Friday, March 21 in Dauphin County Court.

It took about 10 hours spanning two days for the jury to find Rodney Nissley, 48, of Hummelstown guilty of 10 of the 13 charges against him, including four counts of aggravated indecent assault, three counts of indecent assault, corruption of minors, unlawful contact with a minor and indecent exposure.

As the jury foreman read the verdict, the 15-year-old victim, who once lived with the Nissley family, was shaking as her mother laid an arm around her. The assaults happened at Nissley's home, not at school.

More than a dozen members of Nissley's family were visibly emotional, but kept their composure while Nissley sat quietly next to his attorney.

During the deliberations, the jury returned to the courtroom with several questions for Judge Andrew H. Dowling, including requests of transcripts from the trial as well as a question regarding a hung jury on some of the charges.

In the end, the jury could not reach a verdict on three other charges: rape of a child, statutory sexual assault and incest.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Sean McCormack said he will consult with the victim and her family before deciding if he will re-try the charges that resulted in a hung jury.

After the trial, Nissley's bail was increased to $100,000 at the request of McCormack, and Nissley was taken to Dauphin County Prison.

Several of Nissley's relatives broke down outside the court room, others trying to comfort an inconsolable Sara Nissley, his wife.

"It's sad all around. There are certainly no winners here," McCormack said. "This was an extremely stressful case on both sides of the case."

McCormack pegged the case to be extremely difficult from the start. Both sides agreed that the jury would reach a verdict based on whether or not they believed the victim's testimony.

During the trial, Nissley's accuser testified that Nissley sexually assaulting her over a seven-year period. Nissley testified in his defense that the allegations were not true.

McCormack said he appreciates how hard the jury worked on the case.

"I'm relieved that the jurors could see what I could see from the victim from the start…that she was a very sincere, truthful young lady going through a lot," McCormack said.

Nissley will receive at least the minimum mandatory sentence for aggravated sexual assault of 10 to 20 years in state prison. Prior to his sentencing, set for June, Nissley will be given a Megan's Law assessment.

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