An Ellport man is facing charges after inappropriately touching an 11-year-old female relative, according to police.
Steven John Bernardi, 73, of 279 Portersville Road, was charged by Ellwood City police Tuesday with unlawful contact with a minor, indecent assault on person less than 13 years of age and corruption of minors. He was arraigned Tuesday by Magisterial District Judge Jerry Cartwright.
According to the criminal complaint, the child’s father called borough police Lt. David Kingston on July 3 to report his daughter had been inappropriately touched by a relative. Kingston requested the child and her parents come to the station for an initial interview and information.
During the interview, the complaint reads, the child said she went over to Bernardi’s home in Ellport on July 3 for a visit when he inappropriately touched her while attempting to apply a sunburn agent to a sunburn on her back. Although she told Bernardi the sunburn was only on her back, he continued to rub other parts of her body, the complaint says. The victim then texted her mother to pick her up, which her father did.
A Lawrence County Children and Youth Services forensic interviewer conducted an interview with the child three days later, during which she repeated the same story she had told police.