Shaffer pleads guilty to abducting, sexually assaulting HACC stu - abc27 WHTM

Shaffer pleads guilty to abducting, sexually assaulting HACC student

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Clarence Shaffer plead guilty this morning to abducting and sexually assaulting a student from HACC's Harrisburg campus last in December. He has been sentenced to 25 to 50 years in prison.

"I apologize for my actions," said Shaffer during his sentencing hearing. "I'm very ashamed ... I'm appalled that I have done this ... I knew I was in trouble, I could've went to a hospital."

Saffer said he takes responsibility for his actions, asked for forgiveness and apologized to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the victim and her family.

When asked by abc27 reporter Dave Marcheskie why he committed the crime, Shaffer, 53, said, "a lack of medication, bro."

Shaffer's public defender, Stephanie Cesare, said Shaffer suffers from psychotic episodes, anxiety and depression and was released from prison with only a small amount of his  medication.

After it ran out, Cesare said Shaffer, who is also an army veteran, pleaded with several drug stores for more but was unable to get any.

Today, Shaffer plead guilty to 14 charges, including kidnapping, aggravated assault, indecent sexual intercourse, terroristic threats, indecent assault and simple assault. As a result, he has agreed to be registered with Megan's Law for life.

The victim agreed to Shaffer's plea deal and was in the courtroom when he was sentenced. She chose not to give a victim impact statement.

Shaffer said he chose her at random because she was parked at the edge of HACC's parking lot.

The day of the abduction, December 3, police did not know Shaffer's identity and released a composite sketch of the suspect. They later identified him after a friend of Shaffer's tipped off police when she saw him with a bag of items that police said were intended to be used in a sexual assault. The bag also contained a black pellet gun.

The following day, HACC closed its Harrisburg campus while police searched for Shaffer. The chase lasted several hours and ended with Shaffer's arrest in Highspire.

Four days before the abduction and assault, Shaffer had been released from the Camp Hill state prison. Cumberland County District Attorney Dave Freed said Shaffer had just finished serving a sentence for a very similar crime that was committed in the 1990's.

When he was arraigned, Shaffer told reporters that he committed the crimes because he wanted to go back to prison. That day, when he left the judge's office to be sent to prison he said, "I am going home."

The victim, an 18-year-old suburban Harrisburg woman, said she was in HACC's West parking lot when Shaffer opened her car door and forced her into the passenger seat. He then drove her at gunpoint to the Enola area where he pulled into a parking lot where the Conodoguinet Creek meets the Susquehanna River.

Shaffer said he picked the location because he went fishing there when he was a kid.

The victim said he then forced her to walk to a wooded area and sexually assaulted her. She said she was able to run when the attacker put down his gun. She went to a nearby home for help and Shaffer then took the woman's car back to the parking lot at HACC and left it there.

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