Court Refuses to Overturn Conviction of Serial Sex Offender
The Pennsylvania Superior Court has upheld the conviction of a man convicted for a series of frightening incidents in which he exposed himself and in some cases assaulted women.
In 2012, Ryan Ho was convicted on multiple counts of burglary, criminal trespass, indecent exposure, open lewdness, harassment, prowling and indecent assault. He was sentenced to 26 to 54 years in prison.
Ho appealed his conviction which was based in part on a confession he gave to police.
In court documents Ho claimed his confession was not voluntary. Ho, who is from Taiwan says a number of factors worked against him.
His attorneys claimed that Ho had only been speaking English for a few years and in Taiwan police beat and threaten suspects until they cooperate. Ho claimed he was afraid of what police might do to him.
However, State College Police Detective John Aston testified that he interviewed Ho and that Ho had no problem communicating in English and never asked for a translator. Aston also said that Ho was given his Miranda Rights three different times and that Ho provided a hand written description of an incident in Patton Township. Aston also testified that Ho gave "missing puzzle" information -- in cases where police only knew limited details about what had happened.
Prosecutors say Ho targeted 19 women in the area, calling his behavior "increasingly aggressive." The attacks happened in State College Borough, Patton Township and at Penn State between 2009 and 2011.
Ho was breaking into apartments and masturbating in front of his victims, often wearing only a ski mask and gloves. Eventually, he began attacking his victims -- sometimes wrestling them to the ground. In once case he used a stun gun on a victim. He also targeted some women more than once.
Ho was finally captured after assaulting a woman inside an Oakwood Avenue residence in Patton Township. Police say Ho was caught carrying a mask, gloves and a screwdriver.
Investigators say Ho admitted to walking around at night for hours, searching for victims and masturbating in front of them to "release his depression."
Reacting to the court ruling, District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller said in a statement, "We were confident the Superior Court would affirm this conviction. Our officers deserve high praise for catching this dangerous deviant before he struck again and we can rest assured he will be out of our community for quite a long time."