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Curwensville coach charged with child rape

Nov 21, 2023

Mar 22, 2023

A Curwensville Area High School baseball coach has been arrested and charged with felony rape of a child.

Thomas Patrick Harzinski, 48, of Olanta, also faces felony charges of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse of a person less than 16 years old, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, sexual assault, sexual assault by a sports official and indecent assault of a person less than 13 years of age.

In addition, he faces misdemeanor charges of indecent assault of a person less than 13 years of age and indecent assault of a person less than 16 years old.

Harzinski was arraigned Tuesday before Magisterial District Judge Joseph M. Morris and is being held in the Clearfield County Jail.

Bail has been denied because of the "high risk to children in the community," court documents state.

State police at Clearfield were notified Monday of a report of child sexual assault that occurred last year in a hotel in Pittsburgh, a campground in Williamsport and at Harzinski's home on the 7400 block of Curwensville Tyrone Highway.

The information was brought to light when Harzinski spoke with the juvenile victim's father, asking if a 16-year-old would babysit his child and complete some work around his house for money. Harzinski told the father the boy could stay overnight, court documents state.

When the father asked his son, the teen shut down and didn't want to answer. The father told police he knew something was wrong.

The teen then told his father that Harzinski touched him in his private areas three or four times and the teen's brother, 11, was present and touched by Harzinski as well.

Child Advocacy Center interviews were conducted with both juveniles.

One child said Harzinski let him play a baseball game on his phone and was told to take his pants off.

Harzinski then took the boy's underwear off and told him "it is fine, no one will ever know," the boy said.

The boy told the Child Advocacy Center that he was forced to remove his pants a second time, when Harzinski grabbed his wrist, and at least two additional times.

The boy, who was 15 at the time of the alleged assaults, said Harzinski bought him a pack of baseball cards and told him "you owe me big time."

The victim said Harzinski tried to buy him other items, but he declined as he didn't want to owe Harzinski anything, court documents state.

The younger victim said Harzinski took him to a baseball game in Pittsburgh, where they spent the night as they were to go to the zoo the next day.

The victim, then 10, related in the interview that Harzinski bought him multiple items and said he owed him.

The victim reported other times Harzinski sexually assaulted him, including at the Little League World Series in Williamsport and Harzinski's apartment.

Troopers interviewed Harzinski on Monday at the Clearfield barracks, where Harzinski allegedly admitted to twice fondling one of the victims, once at a Pittsburgh hotel and again at a campground in Williamsport near the Little League World Series.

He also told police he helped the 10-year-old victim take a bath at his apartment, and he did buy the victims gifts.

Harzinski claimed he may have touched one of the victims when he was drunk.

The victims were 15 and 10 when the assaults allegedly occurred, court documents state. Both victims were involved in the school's baseball program, court documents state.

Harzinski faces a preliminary hearing March 29 in Clearfield County Central Court.

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