CLEARFIELD — Jared Alan Beard, 20, of DuBois, who confessed to sexually assaulting a juvenile, pleaded guilty and was sentenced by Judge Paul Cherry to serve a minimum of six years and a maximum of 14 years in state prison, this week at sentencing court.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, on July 15, 2020, Beard walked into the state police barracks in DuBois and confessed to the crimes and went into great detail describing the incidents.
He reportedly said the abuse occurred over a number of years with the most recent incident occurring two weeks prior in the City of DuBois.
The victim was interviewed that same day at the Child Advocacy Center in Clearfield, and the victim confirmed the abuse occurred, according to the affidavit.
Beard pleaded guilty to two counts each of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse-victim less than 16-years-old, a felony of the first degree; statutory sexual assault, defendant four to eight years older than victim, felony of the second degree; aggravated indecent assault, victim less than 16 years old, felony of the second degree and indecent assault, victim less than 16 years old, misdemeanor of the second degree.
Beard is also required to follow the requirements under Megan’s Law. Beard was evaluated by the Sexual Offenders Assessment Board, which determined Beard is not a sexually violent predator, First Assistant District Attorney Leanne Nedza said.
It was an open plea, meaning the commonwealth and the defense couldn’t agree on a minimum sentence, leaving it up to the presiding judge.
Beard’s attorney, Steven Johnston of the public defender’s office, asked Cherry to sentence Beard to less than the eight-year minimum recommended by the probation department.
He said although Beard’s actions were terrible, he deserves credit for walking into the police station and confessing his crimes prior to any investigation starting or any suspicion of wrongdoing.
“That took courage, especially for someone who was only 19 years old,” Johnston said.
Johnston said this shows that Beard could be rehabilitated faster than the eight-year minimum sentence recommended by the probation department.
Beard took the stand and apologized to the victim and the victim’s family.
He said he had an “epiphany” last July when he realized the damage he was doing to the victim and decided to confess to his crimes.
“After spending more than 250 days in jail, I couldn’t be happier with the choice I made last summer,” Beard said.
He said he plans to spend his time in jail furthering his education and becoming the person his parents wanted him to be.
In addition to the prison sentence, Beard was ordered to serve a total of eight years consecutive probation, ordered to undergo sex offender counseling and to have no contact with the victim and was fined $1 plus costs on each charge.