Teen rape case moves forward following district judge’s ruling

JERSEY SHORE — After reviewing testimony presented during the preliminary hearing for Zachary Kiess, District Judge Jerry C. Lepley ruled there was sufficient evidence to hold the 18-year-old Anthony Township man on all but two state police charges for allegedly raping a teenage girl during a weekend party at a cabin on Stony Gap Road in the township.

Kiess, of 471 Kiess Hill Road, will face further court action on charges of rape, attempted rape, sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, corrupting the morals of a minor as well one of two counts of aggravated indecent assault and one of two counts of indecent assault.

Two other charges against Kiess, including another count each of aggravated indecent assault and indecent assault were withdrawn by police at the hearing.

Kiess and the victim were both attending an overnight party on March 24 in which numerous juveniles were consuming alcoholic beverages, according to court records.

The next court appearance for Kiess, who is free on $50,000 bail, is scheduled before Lycoming County Court Judge Marc Lovecchio on Monday.

In another criminal matter handled by Lepley, Brittany Schlagel, 23, of 123 Main St., pled guilty to summary harassment after Tiadaghton Valley Regional police dropped a misdemeanor charge of simple assault.

The charges stemmed from an incident on April 21 when Schlagel struck boyfriend Josh Boob in the 100 block of Glover Street in Jersey Shore. Schlagel made arrangements to pay $268 in fines and court costs.

In another court case, this one before District Judge Allen P. Page III in Williamsport, Sharif Cliett, 31, of 630 Cherry St., Williamsport, pled guilty to a city police summary charge of harassment after a misdemeanor charge of simple assault was withdrawn.

The charges were the result of a domestic disturbance with Tara Drummond at the couple’s home on May 14. The date in earlier Sun-Gazette edition was incorrect. Cliett made arrangements to pay $388 in fines and court costs.