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MCKEES ROCKS (KDKA) — A man, charged with molesting a 6-year-old girl following his release from prison after serving decades for rape, went before a judge Friday for a preliminary hearing.
John Kunco, 53, was back in court, shackled and wearing a red jumpsuit stamped Allegheny County Jail, where he spent the night in order to face a county judge in McKees Rocks.
Kunco, previously of Harrison, was freed from prison in May after serving 28 years in Westmoreland County when a judge vacated his 1991 rape conviction. Eighty-five days after his release, he was charged in Allegheny County for sexually assaulting a girl at his home.
“I think people that have been in trouble are a magnet for this type of allegation. We have proven in Westmoreland County and the Innocence Project has proven in Westmoreland County that he’s absolutely innocent,” defense attorney Wendy Williams said.
Williams is also the local counsel for The Innocence Project, involved in Kunco’s 1990 case, and they are getting involved now that he is facing charges once more.
A Westmoreland County judge revoked Kunco’s $10,000 bond in the rape case following the new allegations.
The alleged victim gave her testimony in court on Friday, saying Kunco touched her inappropriately while she was sleeping.
But Kunco’s attorney says the little girl was getting confused and contends she inadvertently combined different stories.
“Where a little girl said a boy at school, two boys touched her, she was repeatedly questioned, and then she came out with this,” Williams said.
The assistant district attorney declined to speak on camera, but says a courtroom is a very difficult place for any sexual assault victim to speak, especially a young child.
But Kunco’s attorney says there was too much inconsistency in the child’s story.
“I think to rest a conviction for a crime like this, based on that type of allegation, after suggested questioning, is outrageous,” Williams said.
The girl’s family did not want to speak with reporters.
Kunco will have a formal arraignment in Allegheny County in November. Until then, he will remain behind bars in Westmoreland County where he is awaiting retrial.