Tyrone man agrees to plea in Centre County child sex case

A 50-year-old Tyrone man, Thomas M. Hammond of 1010 Cameron Ave., has plead guilty to a single charge of indecent assault in a Centre County child sex case that dates back to the mid-1990s.
Hammond was arrested earlier this year and was originally charged with raping two young girls at a Port Matilda residence during a five-year period starting in 1995 and ending in 2000.
The charges included two counts of rape, indecent assault and corruption of minors. He was also charged with one count of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse.
Hammond had a preliminary hearing in July before Magisterial District Judge Jonathan Grine and was bound on only one count each on the rape, indecent assault and corruption of minors charge. The involuntary deviate sexual intercourse charge was also dismissed. At the time, Judge Grine said no testimony was offered during the hearing regarding the dismissed charges.
This morning, Assistant District Attorney Lance Marshall told The Daily Herald that the plea agreement was on the indecent assault charge only. Hammond will serve a 9 to 23 and-a-half months sentence. Marshall said Hammond will be eligible for parole after nine months. He also will be placed on two years probation. Marshall explained if Hammond is paroled before completing his sentence he will be on parole for the remainder of the sentence then the probation would commence.
Hammond is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 28. Marshall said the delay is to allow Hammond to be evaluated under Megan’s Law. An evaluation will be conducted by the Pennsylvania Sexual Offenders Assessment Board. Marshall explained if Hammond is deemed to be a sexually violent predator he will be subject to lifetime registration, which includes quarterly verification. He’ll be required to report his address and whereabouts to police every three months and there would be community notification of where he is living. The designation also requires monthly counseling.
If not deemed as a sexually violent predator, Hammond would still have to notify police of his address once a year for 10 years. Hammond remains free on $100,000 unsecured bond pending his December sentencing date.
Hammond is also facing indecent assault charges in Blair County for incidents that are alleged to have happened in 2004. A pre-trial conference is scheduled for Oct. 17 in those cases according to court information.
A third Blair County case against Hammond regarding indecent assault and harassment charges alleged to have happened in Tyrone in 2005 was scheduled for trial in September, according to court information. A motion to amend information and exclude a witness was filed by assistant DA Terrence Tomassetti in that case. Judge Thomas Peoples, Jr. issued an order regarding the motion and the trial did not proceed at that time.