New Bethlehem man sentenced in sexual assault case

A New Bethlehem man was sentenced Wednesday in Clarion County court on a statutory sexual assault charge.

Jacob Tyler Hook, 22, was sentenced by Judge Sara Seidle-Patton to a term of six months to two years less two days confinement in the Clarion County jail.

Hook had pleaded guilty last month to the felony statutory sexual assault charge.

Prior to Hook’s sentencing, the mother of the 13-year-old victim in the case made an impassioned appeal for justice for her daughter. Hook was standing about 12 feet from the mother.

“You have left an everlasting scar on her,” the woman said. “Her self-esteem has plummeted. She had always been a positive person…now she cries constantly.”

“I grieve for my child and all of the things you have taken away from her,” the woman continued. “You have changed her life forever. Her life will never be the same.”

Court documents indicate Hook accompanied an underage man to a house in Farmington Township where they met two 13-year-old girls. Hook supplied the girls with alcohol and marijuana via a THC vape pen, according to the documents.

Hook admitted he knew the victim was 13.

Hook’s attorney, Matthew Parsons, presented several letters attesting to Hook’s character. Two character witnesses also spoke on Hook’s behalf.

A tearful Hook said he was “sorry” and that “it never should have happened.”

“This is going to impact her (the victim) for the rest of her life,” Seidle-Patton said. “You had a responsibility as an adult. You had a serious lapse in judgment.”

The defense had requested house arrest for Hook, but assistant district attorney Eric Spessard said the crime was “too serious” for house arrest.

Hook was also ordered to undergo sex offender counseling, perform 50 hours of community service and have no further contact with the victim.