Court gavel

A New Florence man was sentenced Friday to four to eight years in a state correctional institution after pleading guilty to multiple charges of indecent assault, aggravated indecent assault and corruption of minors before Indiana County Common Pleas President Judge Thomas M. Bianco.

Richard R. LaRock, 62, also will be placed on probation for three years following his release from state prison.

While some counts were withdrawn, LaRock entered his plea to 12 second-degree felony counts of aggravated indecent assault involving a victim less than 13 years old, six third-degree felony counts of corruption of minors and 12 first-degree misdemeanor counts of indecent assault of a victim under 13 years of age.

It is exactly one year since the charges were filed by state police from Troop A, Indiana, before Blairsville Magisterial District Judge Robert Steele Bell Sr., and three months since LaRock entered a guilty plea.

“In October 2020, members of the Pennsylvania State Police, Indiana Barracks, received a report from the complainant of a sexual assault that occurred in between 2014 and 2015,” Indiana County District Attorney Robert F. Manzi Jr. said in a statement his office issued Monday.

“State troopers undertook the investigation and were able to gather evidence that implicated LaRock in several assaults against the same victim during that time period,” Manzi said.

“The victim was under the age of 13 at the time of the assaults.”

The district attorney said LaRock admitted to the offenses in an interview with state troopers after they completed their investigation.

“There simply is not enough jail time for a defendant who victimizes children,” Manzi said. “I want to applaud the strength and courage of the victim and the victim’s family in this matter. There are many times that a victim does not wish to proceed in court and we are unable to prosecute a case. Here, the victim and the victim’s family were ready to stand up to the defendant so he could be held accountable for his crime.”

According to court records, all the counts stemmed from activity in West Wheatfield Township.