Bond hearing set for man released from prison but now accused of child sex assault |

Bond hearing set for man released from prison but now accused of child sex assault

Rich Cholodofsky

A decision could be made next month on whether an Allegheny County man is to remain behind bars as he awaits a retrial on allegations that he raped a New Kensington woman nearly three decades ago.

Westmoreland County Common Pleas Court Judge Christopher Feliciani will hold a hearing Sept. 12 on a request from prosecutors to revoke the bond that allowed John Kunco to leave prison after serving nearly 28 years for a crime he claims he didn’t commit.

In May, the judge overturned Kunco’s rape conviction, saying the evidence at his 1991 trial was not likely to result in a new guilty finding and ordered him released on a $10,000 unsecured bond. Kunco’s 45- to 90-year prison sentence was vacated.

Kunco, 53, formerly of Harrison, was arrested last week and charged with sexual crimes against a 6-year-old girl, offenses Allegheny County police said were committed the same day he was released from prison in May. He posted a $25,000 bond and was released from jail Aug. 19 on the new charges.

Feliciani issued an arrest warrant for Kunco on Monday after Westmoreland County prosecutors sought to revoke his bond in the rape case. Kunco turned himself in late Monday to the county sheriff’s department and was taken to jail.

Kunco appeared at a hearing via video conference on Tuesday before Common Pleas Court Judge Meagan Bilik-DeFazio, who ordered that he continue to be detained until next month’s bond hearing.

Kunco, through his attorneys with the New York-based Innocence Project, has denied the new allegations and insisted he should be exonerated of the 1991 rape allegations.

Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293 or [email protected]

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