JS man accused of raping young boy

JERSEY SHORE — A 20-year-old Jersey Shore man is in the Lycoming County prison, charged with raping a 7-year-old while babysitting the child in December 2019.

Tommy Lee Hoffman is charged with felony charges of rape of a child, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, statutory sexual assault, unlawful contact with minor and corruption of minors. He’s also charged with misdemeanour of indecent assault victim under 13 years of age, indecent exposure and indecent assault less than 16 actor older by four years.

Hoffman was arrested by Tiadaghton Valley Regional Police Officer Justin Segura who reported the incident occurred on Dec. 27, 2019 at Hoffman’s residence.

According to the affidavit, the child’s mother told police the day of the incident that “when she arrived home from work… the child told her that Hoffman did this act to him today while in Hoffman’s bedroom. (The mother) also said the child told her, “Mommy I’m not supposed to tell you.“”

The mother also informed police the child was sitting at the table when out of nowhere he said Hoffman performed a sexual act on him.

According to the child the incident occurred in Hoffman’s room while Hoffman’s roommate, Rita Hillegass, was home asleep. Hillegass told police she works a night shift and sleeps during the day and on that particular day she went back to her bedroom around 1:30 p.m. and remained in her room for the evening.

When police spoke with Hoffman he told them the mother asked him to watch the child while she went to work.

Hoffman at first denied the assault happened.

“Hoffman said that he stayed at (the mother’s) residence until around 10:30 a.m., they then went to his place. Hoffman told officers that while at his place (the child) played on his phone and the two remained separated,” according to the affidavit.

Hoffman said he and the child returned to the mother’s residence just before the mother returned home.

While officers spoke with Hoffman, he indicated he wanted to take a “lie detector test.”

Segura scheduled a polygraph test with Trooper Kearny of the Pa. State Police Polygraph Unit on Feb. 4 at 10:30 a.m.

On the day of the test, Kearny asked Hoffman multiple questions involving having indecent contact with the child. Hoffman denied all accusations, according to the affidavit.

After the interview, Kearny told Hoffman that he was showing signs of deception.

“Hoffman then became very defensive and argumentative with Trooper Kearny. Hoffman then began to cry and said that it wasn’t at his house and it wasn’t that day. Hoffman said that it was the day before he babysat (the child). Hoffman said that (the mother) had a small keychain gun that has bullets. Hoffman then said that (the mother) forced him to do it,” the affidavit reads.

When Kearny asked Hoffman what he meant by “it” Hoffman replied, “I don’t know how to say it. I am scared.”

Hoffman continued to accuse the mother of forcing him to do “things” with the child, the affidavit said.

Kearny again asked Hoffman what he meant by “things.” Hoffman said he was forced to perform a sexual act and was under duress, the affidavit said.

“Hoffman said that he was over at (the mother’s) a day or two before he babysat. Hoffman said that (the mother) told him what he was going to do to (the child) and if he didn’t do it she was going to shoot him. Hoffman then said that he went into (the child’s) bedroom and he laid on the bed.

“Hoffman said (the mother) walked in with (the child) and it was just the three of them… Hoffman said that is when it happened,” the affidavit reads.

After telling his story of the event, Hoffman became very upset and agitated and asked for a public defender, Segura said.

The mother denied being present and denied Hoffman was under any duress, according to the affidavit.

Hoffman was arraigned before District Judge Jon E. Kemp on Feb. 4, and jailed at the Lycoming County Prison in lieu of $90,000 straight bail.