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Pennsylvania man accused of sexually abusing 8-year-old girl in Woodbine, police say

A Pennsylvania man stands accused of sexually abusing an 8-year-old Woodbine girl while staying with her family, police say.

Steven M. Downs, 33, of the 500 block of South Queen Street, Littlestown, was charged with second-degree rape, third- and fourth-degree sex offense, sex abuse of a minor while being a household member to the victim and second-degree assault, online court records show. A warrant was issued for Downs’ arrest on Oct. 2 and he was arrested on Oct. 4. He was being held without bond as of noon Monday.

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Multiple piggyback rides Downs gave to the child turned sexually abusive when he touched the child under her clothes, the 8-year-old girl and her mother told an investigator, Feb. 4, according to charging documents. The girl also spoke of a time when she sat on Downs' lap, he touched himself and rubbed her leg, charging documents read. She told the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office investigator at Carroll County Child Advocacy Center this made her feel “disgusted” and “freak out,” charging documents state.

After speaking with the child’s family, police suspect one instance of the alleged abuse occurred one of two days the child was home sick in January. The piggyback rides the child spoke of occurred between mid-November 2019 and Feb. 4, 2020, according to charging documents.

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The investigator wrote Downs denied the allegations in a Feb. 7 interview. He allegedly admitted to becoming aroused when the child sat on his lap, then told her to get up, charging documents state.

This case was to go before a grand jury but was delayed due to COVID-19 restrictions, the investigator wrote.

There was no attorney listed for Downs in online court records Monday afternoon. He has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Nov. 4.

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