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Pa. man pleads guilty to assaulting 3 Mennonite sisters; says drugs, not hatred, are to blame

A central Pennsylvania man has pleaded guilty to charges he robbed and assaulted three elderly Mennonite sisters.

The Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era reports (http://bit.ly/1aEbhbL ) 24-year-old Dereck Taylor Holt on Thursday blamed a prescription drug addiction is for his crime.

Holt apologized and said he's "not a heartless being." He pleaded guilty to multiple counts including robbery and aggravated assault.

Authorities say Holt pretended to be an insurance salesman to get inside the Clay Township, Lancaster County home in December, then bound the victims, hit them with a stun gun and sprayed the home with household chemicals. The victims ranged in age from 85 to 91.

Investigators initially believed the sisters were targeted because of their religion, but charges of ethnic intimidation were later dropped.

Sentencing isn't expected for several months.

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Information from: Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era , http://lancasteronline.com

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