Man waives hearing in case involving 15-year-old girl

Staff writer

A Greenville man accused of having inappropriate sexual contact with a 15-year-old girl waived his preliminary hearing in the case Wednesday in Venango County Central Court.

Charges filed against 23-year-old Steven Padenich will now be bound over for further proceedings in the Court of Common Pleas.

Padenich is facing a felony count of statutory sexual assault, a felony count of aggravated indecent assault, two felony counts of corruption of minors and one felony count of interfering with the custody of children.

The charges were filed earlier this month after Trooper Brian O’Toole, of state police in Franklin, was contacted by the girl’s mother, who said her daughter had left the area with Padenich, according to a criminal complaint filed through District Judge Andrew Fish’s office.

Oil City police responded and the girl said she and Padenich had arranged to meet in Oil City before he drove her to Erie, the complaint said.

Padenich then purchased a hotel room, where the two slept in separate beds, the complaint said.

After the incident was discovered, the girl was interviewed and told Oil City police that she and Padenich had engaged in sexual acts while at the hotel, the complaint said.

The girl also told police she and Padenich were planning to stay a second night until her mother began to call and demand she return home, the complaint said.

Padenich remains housed in the Venango County jail on $25,000 bail.