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Jersey Shore man convicted of child rape

A Jersey Shore man has been found guilty of 48 charges related to the sexual abuse of a 12-year-old.

Obadiah Moser, 60, of Jersey Shore, was convicted of raping a child from the time the victim was 12 to the time he was 15.

The victim, who is still a minor, opened up about his abuse at the hands of Moser on Wednesday to a courtroom presided over by President Judge Nancy Butts. He explained Moser, who he saw as a mentor, became increasingly insistent on seeing him.

The victim stayed overnight with Moser and alleged the man around 45 years his senior sexually abused him.

Key pieces of evidence in the story included a log of searches Moser made on his cell phone and an unsent paragraphs-long vivid love letter to the child victim.

The logs showed searches for “very young gay teen boy” pornographic videos, among others, on Moser’s phone.

Kyle Rude, Moser’s attorney, said others could have used Moser’s phone to look for the videos; however prosecutor Martin Wade pointed out several of these searches were performed minutes after the phone accessed apps and websites to invest in silver. Moser testified he frequently used apps and websites to look for opportunities to invest in silver.

As Wade prepared to present the letter written in the “notes” app of Moser’s phone, Rude asked to supress the evidence — midway through the trial.

Butts paused the trial to allow another judge to evaluate the motion. Butts could not review the motion herself because there was no jury for the trial, so she asked Lycoming County Judge Marc Lovecchio to preside over the action; he sided with the prosecution and allowed the evidence to be submitted.

As Wade read the increasingly detailed note to the victim during his closing statement, Moser scoffed and continued to shake his head with friends and family sitting behind him.

“He can scoff all he wants, but this was on his phone,” Wade said. “It was infatuation. I would go so far as to call it obsession. These are the words, unfortunately, of a lover.”

Butts delivered the case’s verdict to a courtroom with several individuals supporting both parties, calling it a difficult case for all involved.

She said what struck her the most was that the phone note was verbatim or similar to several statements both the victim and Moser made during court.

Butts found Moser guilty of three counts of rape of child, three of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, 10 counts of statutory sexual assault: 11 years or older, 10 counts of unlawful contact with a minor, one count of corruption of minors, three counts of indecent assault on someone less than 13 years of age, 10 counts of indecent assault on a person less than 16 years of age, and eight counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a person less than 16 years of age.

Butts found Moser not guilty of two counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a person less than 16 years of age.

Up until the trial, Moser had been released on bail. Wade insisted on revoking bail, while Butts allowed him to remain on bail with increased stipulations.

Moser will not be permitted near the victim or his family’s school, work or home until sentencing. Additionally, he will not be permitted to have unsupervised contact with children. Finally, he may not possess or own any firearms, and those he lives with must temporarily remove their firearms from the residence he is staying at.

Moser is scheduled to appear in court Feb. 17, 2022, to be sentenced for his charges.

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