Hellertown man facing child sexual assault charges

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DALLAS TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Charges were filed against a Hellertown man for the alleged sexual assault of a child, after police say he provided alcohol to a minor and then performed sexual acts on her.

Officers with the Dallas Township Police Department say they have filed charges against 22-year-old Rafael Santiago after a 13-year-old child reported, Santiago had sexually assaulted her.

According to an affidavit, the child’s mother brought her to the ER and claimed her daughter was sexually assaulted. Police identified the suspect as Santiago because he was communicating with the victim via the social media app Snapchat.

Officers say the victim’s mother gave them consent to search and use the phone to communicate with Santiago. Police then accompanied the mother back to where the incident occurred to search for any evidence pertaining to the case.

According to police, the child stated she met up with Santiago and while they were together, Santiago provided alcohol and performed sexual acts on her.

On March 26, 2021, Santiago was taken into custody at the Dallas Township Police Department. Santiago told police he did meet up with the 13-year-old and admits to kissing her. He also admitted to bringing beer with him, reports say.

Police say, they received a warrant for Santiago’s phone and entered into evidence the original conversation between Santiago and the 13-year-old girl. the examination of the content revealed, information such as Santiago’s phone number and multiple images of young females.

On Tuesday, Rafael Santiago Jr. was arraigned in front of Magisterial District Judge Brian Tuppers. Santiago is charged with involuntary deviate sexual intercourse (IDSI), statutory sexual assault, corruption of minors, indecent assault and furnishing alcohol to minors.

Santiago was arraigned and released on $50,000 unsecured bail. His Preliminary Hearing is scheduled for September 9 at Luzerne County Central Court.

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