Hellertown Man Accused of Child Sexual Assault Faces More Charges

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A 21-year-old Hellertown man who is already facing charges in Dallas Township, Luzerne County, related to the alleged sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl is now facing additional charges of indecent sexual behavior toward minors in northeastern Pennsylvania.

According to a police affidavit cited in a report by WBRE/WYOU, Rafael Santiago Jr. allegedly used the app Snapchat to have an online sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl.

The report states that several lewd images of the girl were allegedly found on Santiago’s phone, and that his username allegedly matched the Snapchat account that was being used by the person who was chatting with her. It further states that Santiago allegedly victimized both a 12-year-old girl and a 13-year-old girl using the Snapchat app, and that additional charges against him are pending.

The investigation against Santiago is ongoing and Dallas Township Police are asking anyone with information to contact the Department online or by calling 570-674-2003.

They posted on their Facebook page Thursday that they “believe there may be more victims out there.”

According to court papers, the full list of charges filed against Santiago in Luzerne County District Court 11-3-09 in Trucksville in three separate cases earlier this week includes:

Unlawful Contact with a Minor-Sexual Offenses, Felony 2 (three counts)
Unlawful Contact with a Minor-Sexual Offenses, Felony 2 (one count)
Corruption of Minors, Felony 3 (two counts)
Criminal Use of a Communication Facility, Felony 3 (four counts)
Child Pornography, Felony 3 (two counts)

According to the dockets filed in two of the cases, Santiago is scheduled to have a preliminary hearing on some of the new charges he is facing on Thursday, Dec. 9 at 9 a.m. before District Judge Brian Tupper.

Following a preliminary arraignment on those charges on Wednesday, Tupper committed Santiago to the county prison in lieu of $25,000 bail, which was posted by a professional bondsman later that day according to the court dockets.

Santiago is being represented by attorney Shelley L. Centini of Wilkes-Barre, according to court papers filed in the cases.

In the case brought against him in August, Santiago is accused of giving a girl alcohol before performing sexual acts on her after the two communicated via Snapchat.

Earlier this week, the Wilkes-Barre Times-Leader published a story detailing both cases.

Note: All individuals charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. This story was compiled using information from local media sources and Luzerne County criminal court records.

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