BY: Brian Ferry, Times Observer

The six felony charges and two misdemeanors against a Titusville man were withdrawn shortly after his trial started Friday morning in Warren County Court of Common Pleas.

The jury was brought in and its responsibilities explained by President Judge Maureen Skerda. A few minutes later the jurors were told they could leave.

He faced two felony counts of rape – forcible compulsion; two of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse – person less than 16 years old; two of aggravated indecent assault – complainant less than 16 years old; and two misdemeanor counts of indecent assault. All of those charges were withdrawn by the Commonwealth.

District Attorney Rob Greene received a note from a Warren County Sheriff’s Office deputy shortly after the scheduled start time for the trial.

After talking to the jury about its responsibilities, Skerda said the attorneys would typically start their opening arguments at that point, but instead, she called a recess. The jury was excused while Skerfa spoke with their attorney, Eric Hackwelder.

When the jurors returned to the courtroom a few minutes later, Skerda thanked them for their time. “… reported to me that new information had come to light and he is withdrawing the charges,” she said. “I granted his motion to withdraw the charges.”