Hellertown man facing more charges amid child sexual assault investigation

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DALLAS TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A Hellertown man is facing additional charges of indecent sexual behavior toward minors, after already being arrested for similar crimes in August.

According to the police affidavit, Rafael Santiago was having an online sexual relationship with a 14-year-old female, using the app Snapchat.

Officers say they searched Santiago’s phone and found his username matched the Snapchat account used to chat with the minor. The Snapchat account was linked Santiago’s Apple ID and Gmail account.

The affidavit says the phone also had several lewd images of the 14-year-old girl.

Police say they spoke with a second victim, a 12-year-old juvenile, and her parents. The affidavit reads, that during the interview the juvenile admitted to having chatted with Santiago whom she met on the app Snapchat. They continued to speak through the app as well as through text messaging.

Police say the juvenile stated Santiago repeatedly asked to meet up and asked for sexually explicit pictures to which he would send nude pictures of himself. The juvenile blocked Santiago, as she said she felt pressured because he would message her frequently and would not stop asking to hang out.

The minor told police that Santiago sent nude pictures of himself to her numerous times.

Police say Santiago also engaged in another online relationship with a 13-year-old girl using Snapchat. The underage girl stated that Santiago sent lewd pictures of himself on the app.

According to the affidavit, the juvenile states that she indicated her age to Santiago and he replied that he was in high school and talked to a lot of girls her age.

On Wednesday, Santiago was arraigned in front of District Judge Brian James Tupper and is being charged with multiple counts of unlawful contact with a minor, child pornography, corruption of minors, and criminal use of communication facility.

Santiago is currently out on $75,000 bail with no contact with minors or the victims.

The investigation is ongoing. Officers say other charges are pending.

Police say they believe there are more victims, if anyone would like to come forward, please contact the authorities at the Dallas Township Police Department or 570-674-2003.

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