A Lewisberry man has been ordered to stand trial for the alleged indecent assault of a two-year-old girl in a York County store.
Robert R. Alfrey, 70, was held for court during a preliminary hearing Wednesday morning before District Judge Scott Gross, who found enough evidence to send the case to county court.
A formal arraignment was scheduled for September 6.
Alfrey was arrested July 9 after Newberry Township police said he indecently touched the girl as she sat in a shopping cart and while her mother was at a video rental kiosk just a few feet away.
Police said Alfrey initially touched the girl as he exited the Walmart in Etters, then returned from the parking lot a few moments later to again touch the child in what appeared to be her genital area.
The assault was recorded on store surveillance cameras, and the video indicated that Alfrey had followed the child around the store, police said.
According to police, a customer saw the second incident and verbally confronted Alfrey, which stopped the incident from progressing.
“I think anybody
would have spoken up, I really do,” said Dawn Lail, the witness who confronted Alfrey. “Even though I didn't say
much, I did enough to get his attention and stop it.”
Alfrey left the store as witnesses took down his license plate number. He was arrested and charged with indecent assault, corruption of minors, harassment and disorderly conduct, according to police.
His attorney, Chris Ferro, said after the hearing that Alfrey touched the girl's leg in a playful manner and that witnesses jumped to the wrong conclusion.
“We live in a distrustful society and innocent things can be looked at in nefarious ways, and I think that's what occurred here,” Ferro said.
“He has now been painted as a pedophile after living the first 70 years of his life without ever having any criminal involvement,” he said.