Convicted rapist killed in prison
By Randy Bartley
Clearfield County Coroner Kim Shaffer-Snyder has ruled the state prison death of a Clarion County man was a homicide.
Garrick Landon Bloom, 48, who was originally from Shippenville, was found dead in his cell at SCI Houtzdale Aug. 29.
Bloom was serving a 40-year sentence for the rape of child. His death is being investigated by the State Police in Clearfield.
Shaffer-Snyder said Sept. 10 Bloom's death was the result of ligature strangulation.
Ligature strangulation is defined as a constricting band tightened by a force other than the body weight.
Former Clarion County Judge of Common Pleas James Arner sentenced Bloom on Sept. 11, 2019, ordering Bloom to a minimum of 96 months to a maximum of 192 months on each of five first-degree felony counts of rape of a child, with the sentences to be served consecutively.
On Oct. 25, 2018, Clarion County Children and Youth Services reported to Clarion state police that a juvenile boy was being sexually assaulted by Bloom.
The boy told police the assaults began when he was 5 years old and continued for several years, between Jan. 17, 2007, and Feb. 18, 2012.
Bloom was originally charged with 216 counts of raping a child, 216 counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, 216 counts of aggravated indecent assault of a child and 120 counts of statutory sexual assault of a person 11 years old or older, all first-degree felonies; 96 counts of statutory sexual assault, a second-degree felony; one count of endangering the welfare of children, a third-degree felony.
Prior to his pending trial, Bloom fled Clarion County and was apprehended on Feb. 7, 2019, in a homeless shelter in Tallahassee, Fla.
Bloom initially denied committing the crimes but later admitted to sexually assaulting the boy and pleaded guilty to the charges on Aug. 14, 2019.