PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A former instructor at the Hartwood Equestrian center got 11-and-a-half to 23 months in jail for allegedly sexually assaulting two teens.
Justin Tarr was sentenced, but not after hearing directly from his victims.
“It was nice being the one who was in power, instead of the other way around,” one victim told KDKA’s Harold Hayes after the hearing.
The two victims were 13 and 14 years old when they got riding lessons from Tarr – now 31 years old — at the horse riding complex run by his wife.
But eventually they say hugging progress to kissing and other sexual molestation.
Tarr was convicted on charges including involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, indecent assault and corrupting the morals of minors.
One of them read a victim impact statement which asked “Remember when you offered to ride me home? Remember the times you texted me all night and told me you loved me? How could I say no to you?”
And another said you can’t ask a person to change, especially one who manipulates kids.
“Those were just things that I’ve been wanting to say to him for a really long time and if his wife had been there, that would have been all good too, ‘cause I want her to hear also,” said one victim after the hearing.
Tarr was taken away in handcuffs, but does that help the victims move on?
“In a way it does, but there’s still all that emotional damage and still things I need to work on with myself — so it does and doesn’t at the same time,” said one victim after the hearing.
“it’s definitely not all over yet, just cause he went away,” the other victim said. “But it was nice to see him go away in handcuffs.”
Tarr will also be registered as a sex offender under Megan’s Law.