Former County Public Defender Guilty On Rape, Assault Charges

A former Lackawanna County public defender was found guilty Wednesday on all counts for the rape and sexual assault of a 16-year-old girl.

Ken Kovaleski had been on trial since Monday.

Ken Kovaleski is behind bars at the Lackawanna County Prison.

Prosecutors said Kovaleski is a former Lackawanna County public defender and he abused his position of power.

“He took advantage of those positions of trust, he had children in his home, he was somebody who was educated, he was educated on the system and he knew better,” said Assistant District Attorney Marieclare Hayes.

Kovaleski turned himself into authorities back in July of 2012 after his 16-year-old victim came forward, accusing Kovaleski of molesting her from 2011 to 2012.

Kovaleski`s attorneys maintained he did not commit these crimes, however Kovaleski did not testify at trial.

“It’s hard to negate something that didn`t happen by saying it didn`t happen,” said Kovaleski’s attorney, Todd Henry.  “I don`t know how in any way that helps someone to say that, and I hope the jury didn`t hold that against him.”

Kovaleski had been out on bail during the trial, but that was revoked after his conviction.

Kovaleski`s wife remained silent as she left the courthouse surrounded by family. However, in the courtroom she shouted “I love you” to her husband as he was taken away in handcuffs by deputies.

“The best part about what happened today is that tonight the victim can go to bed knowing that because of her, because of coming forward and testifying that this is never going to happen to anyone else,” said Hayes.

A sentencing date for Kovaleski has not been set.

Prosecutors said he faces a minimum of 10 years behind bars, but they plan to ask the judge for at least 25 years.

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