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Jurors return guilty verdict in Blair County’s first human trafficking jury trial

Outside of the Blair County Courthouse in Hollidaysburg, PA.
Cole Cullen
Outside of the Blair County Courthouse in Hollidaysburg, PA.

A Huntingdon County man has been convicted as part of Blair County’s first human trafficking jury trial.

The Blair County District Attorney’s office says other human trafficking cases have resulted in plea agreements. In 2014, Pennsylvania expanded the definition of human trafficking to include sex and labor trafficking.

Donald Hetrick, a 39-year-old man from Alexandria, was found guilty of raping a 14-year-old girl in Altoona in 2021. Hetrick offered a woman money to help get her daughter’s friend to have sex with him. The mother allegedly gave both girls alcohol and marijuana, and told the 14-year-old to go to Hetrick’s hotel room.

In a statement, First Assistant District Attorney Nichole Smith said, “I am grateful that this community, through its juries, protects its children from the predatory sexual behavior of those who insidiously seek to harm them. No child should have to defend her choice to trust an adult.”

Hetrick’s sentencing is scheduled for April 23. He could face a maximum of 77 years in prison for several charges, including human trafficking, sexual exploitation of a child, and rape and unlawful contact with a minor.

Sydney Roach is a reporter and host for WPSU with a passion for radio and community stories.