New Castle News

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February 8, 2013

Recorded conversation used in rape complaint

NEW CASTLE — A recorded phone conversation between the suspect and victim was instrumental in the filing of rape charges Thursday.

Aaron James Salzano, 34, of 2831 Glenda Drive is accused of sexually assaulting a girl approximately nine years ago, when she was between 5 and 7 years old. She is now 15, according to state police.

Salzano was arraigned Thursday before District Judge David Rishel and remanded to the Lawrence County jail in lieu of a $100,000 bond.

Charges against him are rape of a child, statutory sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault and indecent assault.

According to police, the investigation that led to the charges against Salzano began in July, with a report of statements made by the victim to Lawrence County Children and Youth Services during counseling sessions.

Investigating officers and a representative of the Lawrence County Children’s Advocacy Center interviewed the victim, who told them she had been assaulted by the suspect on multiple occasions, beginning when she was about 5. She said during the first assault, her hands were duct-taped together.

The victim said the attacks continued for about two years. She also told investigators that Salzano often gave her a small blue pill prior to the assaults.

It was noted in the criminal complaint that Children and Youth Services had investigated Salzano’s relationship with the girl in 2003, but the case was determined to be unfounded at the time.

In August, after receiving approval from the Lawrence County district attorney’s office, police arranged to have the victim call Salzano and to have the conversation recorded. The criminal complaint says that during their conversation, Salzano acknowledged engaging in sexual relations with the girl when she was around 5, claming he had a “crush” on her.

Also during the conversation, police said, Salzano offered to go to prison over the matter or to have the girl shoot him.

A preliminary hearing for Salzano is scheduled for Thursday.

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