Pine executive facing sexual assault charges

Case involves 2 young female relatives

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A Pine man who sits on the board of his family's oil and gas exploration firm was arraigned Wednesday on charges that he inappropriately touched two female relatives when they were under the age of 18.

David Kozel, 48, faces 10 criminal counts of charges including indecent assault, aggravated indecent assault, endangering the welfare of a child and unlawful contact with a minor.

His attorney William Difenderfer said, "The charges are outrageous" and declined to comment further.

Mr. Kozel is semi-retired as vice president of Texas Keystone Inc., an oil and gas exploration firm run by his family and registered in Downtown Pittsburgh. Texas Keystone has been active in several states, including in the Marcellus Shale industry in Pennsylvania, and has sister companies that drill wells.

Northern Regional police wrote in a criminal complaint filed earlier this month that investigators in another state contacted them after one girl to whom Mr. Kozel is related said she was sexually assaulted by Mr. Kozel years ago and another girl recounted similar experiences.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette does not typically name the victims of alleged sexual assaults without their consent.

The girls, now 16 and 18, told police the encounters occurred over several years during the times when they visited Mr. Kozel at his home in Pine.

Both girls described instances when they wanted to wash themselves while taking a bath, but Mr. Kozel insisted that he do so and touched them inappropriately, according to the complaint. At times, the girls told police, he used a video camera to record them.

Police wrote that both girls also described instances in which Mr. Kozel accompanied them into his bedroom and then inappropriately touched them or touched himself sexually. The 16-year-old girl told police the girls cried often and that at one point Mr. Kozel told her, "If you don't stop crying you will never see your mom again," according to the complaint.

Mr. Kozel was released on $100,000 unsecured bail after his arraignment before Magisterial District Judge Anthony Ceoffe, according to court records. The conditions of his bond state that he must surrender his passport, cannot travel outside the continental United States and cannot have contact with the victims.

Mr. Kozel could not be reached for comment. His father, Frank Kozel, said Wednesday afternoon he thought the girls were being manipulated by their mother, who is angry at David Kozel and has a rocky relationship with the man.

The girls' mother referred questions to her attorney, who did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday evening. The Post-Gazette is not identifying the girls' mother to protect their identities.

neigh_north

Liz Navratil: lnavratil@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1438 or on Twitter @LizNavratil.


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