Stephen A. Karenbauer

Stephen Karenbauer

A man accused of raping an 11-year-old girl while another child secretly videotaped it has waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

Stephen Anthony Karenbauer, 56, of Park Avenue, was in Central Court on Thursday to face charges filed against him in the incidents that reportedly occurred during August.

The Lawrence County public defender’s office represented him in court.

Karenbauer sported an injured and scarred face in the courtroom when he signed his waiver papers before Judge Melissa A. Amodie.

He shot himself in the right cheek when police surrounded his house to arrest him on charges involving the incident, according to New Castle police reports.

He was incarcerated in the Lawrence County jail on Aug. 31, following his release from St. Elizabeth’s Youngstown Hospital. He remains in jail on a $150,000 bond.

Salem said that the police had been contacted Aug. 25 by the child’s parents about the reported rape, which another child sibling caught on videotape.

Reported sexual assaults involving the children occurred on Aug. 19, according to a criminal complaint filed by city police. The matter was reported to the police by the child’s parents, after their children, ages 10 and 11, had told them what happened. Karenbauer was an acquaintance of their family.

The children told investigators that while Karenbauer reportedly was raping one child, the other child hid in the bedroom and recorded it on a cell phone, the complaint states.

Karenbauer is facing one count of rape of a child and two counts each of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and indecent assault of a person younger than 13.

New Castle police chief Bobby Salem said the investigation into the allegations by the children is ongoing.

Suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty or adjudicated in a court of law.

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Debbie's been a journalist at the New Castle News since 1978, and covers county government, police and fire, New Castle schools, environment and various other realms. She also writes features, takes photos and video and copy edits.

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