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Eric King

HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Superior Court has denied the appeal of a former Avis man who was convicted of sexually assaulting three women in the fall of 2020.

Eric Montague King, 46, formerly of Lafayette Street in Avis, sought a new trial on appeal, claiming that his three indecent assaults should have been tried separately by the Commonwealth and that exposing the jury to all three victims was unfairly prejudicial to King, according to a release from the Clinton County District Attorney’s office via Crimewatch.

In rejecting King’s argument, the Superior Court quoted the Commonwealth’s argument, saying King, “embarked on a two-month spree of sexually assaulting women in broad daylight on the streets of Avis, Pennsylvania in the fall of 2020.”

The court also added that “King created the sequence of events and cannot fairly demand now that these incidents be severed and tried in separate trials.”

King was sentenced in 2022 by Clinton County President Judge Craig P. Miller to a maximum sentence of 7 years and 6 months, with a minimum of 3 years, 9 months, followed by a mandatory 3 years probation sentence imposed on all sex offenders.

King was also a Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) which subjects King to the most intensive lifetime registration requirements permitted by Pennsylvania’s Megan’s Law.

At sentencing, District Attorney Dave Strouse described King as a “classic predator” who will never change his behavior or be rehabilitated.

Citing King’s extensive criminal history that spanned more than 2 decades, Strouse said, “every day that the court can put the defendant in prison, is one more day that he cannot victimize a defenseless elderly or intellectually disabled woman.”

Strouse asked the court to impose a 3 year, nine month minimum sentence with a maximum of 7 years, 6 months, which he described as the maximum sentence permitted under Pennsylvania sentencing laws.

President Judge Miller described King’s crimes as “disgusting” and just before imposing sentence opined that he was fully of the belief that King would re-offend if given the opportunity.

Miller said that King’s acts cannot be tolerated anywhere in society, and that they “absolutely will not be tolerated in Clinton County.”

King was convicted by a Clinton County jury in December of 2021, following a one-day trial.

The jury returned guilty verdicts on three counts of Indecent Assault, second degree misdemeanors, and one count of Harassment, a third degree misdemeanor.

President Judge Miller, who presided over the trial, also found King guilty of three additional charges of Harassment, all graded as summaries.

King had been charged for making unwanted sexual and physical contact with three women on three separate occasions in Avis and Pine Creek Township in September and November of 2020. At trial all three of the victims testified against King.

The first woman, a 36-year-old, testified that King entered her property and groped her breasts from behind in September of last year. She described how King then forced her, dragging her, to the rear of her residence. She described the fear and terror that she experienced not knowing what King intended to do to her and she said she “fought with everything she had” to get away.

The woman said her two large dogs heard her struggling and scared King away.

The second woman, a 66-year-old, testified that she was walking her dog when she encountered King who was also walking his two dogs in Avis on Sept. 23, 2020.

She said King almost immediately started making overt sexual comments to her and stated how he could pleasure her in explicit detail.

The woman testified that she tried to walk away and told King to stop, but he proceeded to walk after her and continue making explicit comments to her. Stating that she became fearful of King when he wouldn’t stop, she decided to stay in public areas and near main roads and did not return to her home out of fear that King would follow her to her residence.

She described how King made unwanted physical contact with her that was sexual in nature, which she told him to stop.

She described how King proceeded to reach into his pants in an apparent attempt to pleasure himself as she was next to him. After approximately an hour, she said that King made a statement that he was “giving up” and that she was able to get away from him and go back to her home. She described being fearful of King and became emotional during her testimony.

In total, she said she told King to stop making sexual comments to her “at least ten times.”

The third woman, an 81-year-old, testified a man later identified to be King approached her in the parking lot as she exited the Dollar General store in Pine Creek Township in November of 2020.

King offered to help put the items she had purchased into her car. King reportedly helped with her bags and then asked to sit with her in her car for 5 minutes. After the woman refused, King “asked for a hug” and then touched the woman’s genitals. None of the women had ever met King prior to their assaults, but all three pointed him out in front of the jury as the man they encountered.

When he was arrested, King told arresting officer Sgt. Dennis Gill of Pine Creek Township Police that he didn’t do anything wrong, claiming that he “just hugged” the women.

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