A candidate for Adams Township supervisor, 24-year-old Dustin Siplivy of Dunlo, is facing a felony rape charge in Cambria County court.
Contacted Thursday, Siplivy would not discuss the details of the charges, referring all inquiries to Altoona attorney Thomas M. Dickey.
Court papers show that Johnstown police arrested Siplivy in February 2010 on charges of rape, indecent assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and aggravated assault.
All of the charges included the notation that the victim was unconscious.
Siplivy spent more than three days in Cambria County Prison before posting $1,000 surety on his $10,000 bond, court documents report.
When confronted with the ongoing charges, Siplivy threatened legal retaliation.
The charges stem from an incident Jan. 31, 2010, when a woman told police she was baby-sitting for friends in Hornerstown. She admitted she was drinking alcohol and had passed out, according to court papers.
She awoke to find Siplivy on top of her, having sex with her, the papers said. Police describe Siplivy in the court papers as a “mutual friend” of hers and the children’s mother’s boyfriend.
Police were contacted after the woman was taken to Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown, where a sexual assault kit was completed, the court papers say.
Police said Siplivy admitted having sex with the woman while she was asleep, but that he stopped when she awoke and told him to stop. He also told police he was sorry, the court papers said.
Siplivy was held for Cambria County court following a preliminary hearing March 31, 2010, before District Judge Leonard Grecek in Johnstown, the records show.
At county court, the involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and aggravated assault charges were withdrawn, but the charges of rape of an unconscious victim and indecent assault of an unconscious person remain.
Several pretrial conferences have been scheduled and several continuances have been requested and granted, the court papers say. The latest filing continues the case until June 30.
Dickey is listed as Siplivy’s defense attorney. Calls to his office were not immediately returned.
Because Siplivy has not been convicted of any crime and is therefore presumed innocent, the charges do not disqualify him as a candidate, Adams Township Solicitor William Barbin and Cambria County Elections Director Fred Smith said.
“It doesn’t make him ineligible to run,” Smith said. “The question is, would he be qualified to serve if he is elected if he is convicted.”
The county election board could determine whether a candidate is qualified following a conviction, Barbin said, but it takes action by the state Senate to remove an elected official from office.
Siplivy is running for supervisor in the May 17 Democratic primary.
He faces incumbent supervisors Dennis Gdula of Coulter Road, Dunlo, and Ron Kauffman of Spruce Court, Salix, along with challengers Anthony Christ of Market Street, St. Michael; Gerald “Butch” Weyandt of Gramblingtown Road, South Fork; and Jerry Lee Simmers of Dunlo.
In November, the top two vote-getters likely will face the sole Republican, Trevor Burkett of Davidson Street, South Fork.
A graduate of Forest Hills High School, Siplivy cites his experience as a Summerhill Township employee among qualifications for the Adams Township post.
“This is the township I live in,” he said. “I’m just trying to better myself.”