Former Scranton Man Convicted Of Sexual Assault

September 21, 2018

SCRANTON — A Lackawanna County Court jury deliberated less than an hour today before finding a former Scranton man guilty of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl in Carbondale Twp. four years ago.

David Anthony Venson, 46, who was living in New York City when he was charged in September 2015, was convicted of statutory sexual assault and six other counts.

Jurors started deliberating around noon after receiving final instructions from Judge Margaret Bisignani Moyle and returned their verdict before 1 p.m.

State police charged Venson after an investigation that began when the 15-year-old reported the defendant and a 17-year-old boy assaulted her the night of Aug. 14, 2014. The boy was not charged.

The Times-Tribune does not identify victims of sexual assault.

The victim, now 19, was the first witness called by the prosecution when the trial opened Thursday and testified for about 40 minutes.

She described how Venson and the boy picked her up in Carbondale and drove to a secluded area on Salem Mountain after saying they wanted to drink and smoke marijuana. The woman, who was preparing to enter ninth grade at the time, testified she didn’t want to smoke marijuana but became scared after Venson threatened her.

The 17-year-old, who was initially in the front seat, got in the back seat and began kissing her before eventually having intercourse with her over her protests, the woman testified. That’s when Venson came to the back of the car and forced her to perform oral sex on him before he also had intercourse with her, she said.

“She’s ours now,” the woman quoted Venson as telling the 17-year-old.

After having sex with her, Venson pushed her away and threw her clothing at her, the woman said.

The victim said she feared for her life.

“I was afraid. We were a mile down a dirt road. ... I could have been dead that night,” she said.

The woman said after she arrived back at her home she broke down and lay on her bedroom floor crying before telling her sister about the assault. Their mother notified police.

Assistant District Attorneys Sara Varela and Jack Price finished presenting the prosecution’s case, which also included DNA evidence, on Friday morning. Attorney Christopher Osborne, who represented Venson, rested the defense case without calling any witnesses.

In addition to statutory sexual assault, Venson was convicted of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault, unlawful contact with a minor, indecent assault and two counts of corruption of minors.

Contact the writer: dsingleton@timesshamrock.com, 570-348-9132

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