Tuesday, December 17, 2013

PA - Ephrata man (John Hall Jr) gets probation for making citizen's arrest on sex offender

John Hall Jr
John Hall Jr
Original Article

The title of this article is misleading, as usual. The man was put on probation for impersonating a public servant.



An Ephrata man who made a citizen's arrest in 2011 of a Denver teenager later charged with sexual assault will serve probation and complete community service for impersonating a public servant.

John Hall Jr. was accepted Monday into a two-year alternative-sentencing program that calls for probation, 2 years of community service and fines.

Hall, 43, was charged in July 2011 with placing handcuffs on 19-year-old _____ after he heard _____ confess to sexually assaulting a boy.

East Cocalico Township police, after a two-month investigation, charged _____ with felony sex crimes. _____ is now serving an 8-to-16-year prison term.

Police, however, with approval from the county district attorney's office, charged Hall with a misdemeanor count of impersonating a public servant.

Hall displayed a badge and claimed to have jurisdiction to arrest _____, an arrest affidavit shows.

Along with the sentence, a local judge ordered the badge be destroyed.

"I don't, for any minute, consider this behavior to be trivial," Lancaster County Judge Dennis Reinaker told Hall. "You undermined the public confidence and trust in people like those two officers back there."

Reinaker gestured to East Cocalico police Officers Jonathan Zaun and Steven Savage, who worked the case.

Hall said little in court, aside from answering the judge's questions with "Yes" or "No."

"Hopefully, you learned a lesson from this," Reinaker told Hall.

"Yes, your honor," replied Hall, a large man in a gray suit.

Hall insisted from the start that he was exercising his legal right.

Hall claimed the victim, a 13-year-old boy who lived nearby, told Hall that _____ had sexually assaulted him.

District Attorney Craig Stedman alleged that Hall then "lured" _____ to a home in Denver Valley Estates and essentially coaxed a confession from him on July 23, 2011.

Police said the right thing to do would have been to contact police immediately after hearing of the alleged crime.

Hall, according to the affidavit, displayed a badge to the responding police officers.

"Hall said he worked for the federal government and stated he had jurisdiction to make an arrest," one officer wrote in the affidavit.

Police initially charged Hall with false imprisonment, but dropped the charge and replaced it with impersonating a public servant.

Hall also was charged with driving on a suspended license for driving to the police station to discuss the case.

In court Monday, prosecutor Ande Gonzalez went over all the conditions that Hall must complete in the program to have the charges expunged from his record. Those conditions include a $650 program fee, undergoing a mental-health evaluation and maintaining a full-time job.

Hall had been free on unsecured bail.

_____ was sentenced in March to the negotiated 8-to-16-year term for illegal sexual contact with a pair of teenage boys.

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