Joshua L. Leap of Effort, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to 90 months to 244 months incarceration in a state correctional facility today. This sentence was imposed by the Honorable Judge Jonathan Mark after Leap was found guilty by a jury on January 11, 2018 of Rape by Forcible Compulsion, graded as a Felony of the First Degree; Statutory Sexual Assault being more than 11 years older than victim, graded as a Felony of the First Degree; Sexual Assault, graded as a Felony of the Second Degree; Aggravated Indecent Assault by Forcible Compulsion, graded as a Felony of the Second Degree; and Indecent Assault by Forcible Compulsion, graded as a Misdemeanor of the First Degree.
In July 2015 the Pennsylvania State Police – Lehighton were contacted regarding a 14 year old whom had gone to her boyfriend’s family reunion and reported being sexually assaulted by Joshua Leap. An investigation revealed that Leap was at a family reunion which was hosted at his uncle’s house off Brezzy View Lane in Stroud Township, Pennsylvania from July 25, 2015 to July 26, 2015. Leap and other individuals at the reunion were drinking throughout the day and ended the night around a bon fire, where they continued to drink. The victim, who was 14 years old, was dating one of Leap’s cousins, who was 15 years old. Both she and her boyfriend were also at this family reunion. Tents were set up for anyone who wanted to sleep over. Sometime prior to midnight, the victim and her boyfriend retired to a tent to go to sleep. Around dusk, the victim remembered being awoken and then sexually assaulted by Leap. At the time, Leap was 28 years old and had a fiancé who was 5 months pregnant.
The conviction came after the jury heard from Commonwealth witnesses including the victim, troopers from PSP Lehighton, and numerous expert witnesses (including therapists, nurses, Serology and DNA experts). Defense witnesses included friends and family members of Leap and Leap himself.
The jury deliberated for less than three hours returning a verdict of guilty on all counts charged by the Commonwealth. Leap was represented during trial by Attorney Brandon Reish. The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Julieane Fry.
At sentencing today, both the victim and her mother addressed the Court and Leap, stating how much of an impact this has had on their lives. Judge Mark imposed the sentence after noting that Leap has failed to take accountability for his actions. Judge Mark indicated during sentencing that this ‘victim blaming’, especially during sentencing, is extremely offensive.
Leap will be transferred from Monroe County Correctional Facility to a State Correctional Facility to begin serving his sentence of incarceration. He will also need to register as sex-offender for life.