A 13-year-old girl was the only witness against a former Summit Hill man during a magistrate hearing yesterday.
She kept composed, speaking just above a whisper in explaining how the man, Nicholas D. Molino, 42, now living in Wilkes-Barre, would have sex with her, sometimes twice a day. She said he had been assaulting her since she was just six years old, and it came to a halt when she went to live with a different relative during the summer of 2010 – when she was 12.
All 15 counts against Molino were bound over for Carbon County Court by District Judge Casimir T. Kosciolek of Lansford.
Molino is free on $50,000 straight bail.
The girl said Molino constantly told her that if she told anyone about the assault, she would be sent to a foster home. She didn't know what a foster home was, she said, but she was afraid.
At one point, she told an uncle about the matter. The uncle confronted the accused, she said, but nothing was ever done. She didn't see the uncle much after that. In fact, she told the court, Molino began cheating on the uncle's wife. The wife left the uncle and moved in with Molino.
Although the assaults allegedly began when she was living in Blakeslee, Molino was arrested for the incidents which happened in a Summit Hill residence over a span of 2 1/2 years.
The girl, who now lives in Luzerne County, said in fourth grade the class was told about improper touching, but she didn't know it referred to another relative. She thought it meant only other people.
She said her mother noticed she was cutting herself with razors. It was then she confessed that the man was assaulting her. She contacted Summit Hill police and Molino was arrested by Officer Lori Lienhard.
The young girl said after watching two episodes of the TV show "CSI," in which young people were sexually assaulted, she realized that what the man was doing was wrong.
"I didn't know it was bad until I started watching CSI," she said.
She never lost her composure or changed her story. She answered every question calmly that was asked of her by Assistant District Attorney Michael Greek, the prosecutor, and attorney Brian Collins, representing Molino.
Collins asked her, "What about that show (CSI) convinced you that what was happening with you (and the defendant) was bad?"
She said after watching the show, she Googled "whether sexual assault was good or bad."
Collins asked her if she didn't tell teachers, police, or a family doctor, why she told an uncle about the assaults.
She responded, "I trusted him."
"Why didn't you tell him again?" Collins asked.
She answered that she didn't talk to him much after that.
Collins questioned her about a Facebook friend she had. She thought the friend was a 17-year-old boy but it turned out to be a 20-year-old man.
She stated she didn't know he was 20 years old.
Collins didn't ask for any of the charges to be dismissed, and Kosciolek immediately forwarded all of them to court.
Molino is charged with rape of a child, statutory sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child and sexual assault.
Also, he faces four counts of aggravated indecent assault, three counts of indecent assault, incest, endangering the welfare of children, and corruption of minors.