- Associated Press - Monday, June 16, 2014

ALTOONA, Pa. (AP) - A central Pennsylvania man has been jailed on charges he sexually assaulted a 9-year-old girl at a homeless shelter.

Online court documents don’t list an attorney for 19-year-old Mermoth Dunkle Jr., of Huntingdon County.

Dunkle was staying at a homeless shelter in Altoona, in neighboring Blair County, when he allegedly forced the girl to perform sexual acts in the shelter’s laundry area on Thursday evening.

An official with Family Services Inc. says the agency is “devastated” that such an attack occurred in what is meant to be a safe haven for needy families. Officials say they screen those who attend the shelter and don’t admit those with a history of sexual offenses or violent crimes.

Dunkle, who faces a preliminary hearing Wednesday, is facing drug charges in Huntingdon County.

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