A Palmerton man accused of molesting a girl is behind bars.

Rickey Causey, 55, faces eight counts of aggravated indecent assault, five counts of sexual assault, five counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, three counts of indecent assault, two counts of statutory sexual assault, indecent exposure, corruption of minors, and endangering the welfare of children.

Causey was scheduled to have his preliminary hearing this morning before District Judge Bruce Appleton of Palmerton.

Causey is currently incarcerated in Carbon County Prison in lieu of $500,000 straight bail.

According to the affidavit of probable cause filed by Palmerton Police Officer Chris Ritter:

On Dec. 6, the victim's mother appeared at the borough police station with her daughter, now 13, to report the sexual abuse of her daughter by Causey. Also present was the victim's grandmother.

At that time, the mother reported that when her daughter was 6 years old, Rickey Causey had exposed himself to her, and performed other sexual acts, according to the affidavit. The mother confronted Causey, who denied the allegation, the affidavit says. At the time, the family resided in Washington Township, Lehigh County.

The mother also described a second revelation of abuse by her daughter when she was 8 and the family lived on Mauch Chunk Road in Palmerton. The mother again confronted Causey, who confessed to the accusations and agreed to seek counseling, and promised to never touch her daughter again. The mother stated that Causey also revealed that, as a child, he had been sexually abused by his mother.

The mother then stated that earlier on Dec. 6, her daughter had revealed further sexual abuse to her. She stated that her daughter had revealed that, about two weeks prior, Rickey Causey asked her daughter to undress, including her underpanties, and he removed all his clothing. The victim then said "he touched me all over and down there. He had me touch him."

On Dec. 7, Rickey Causey appeared at the borough police department, at which time he asked to speak with Ritter. He was escorted to an interview room, where he signed a waiver of his Miranda Rights, and agreed to speak with Ritter.

During the interview, Rickey Causey was very embarrassed to speak about the matter, and reluctant to use explicit terms for sexual organs, and agreed that the word "privates" was the word used by the victim the affidavit says.

Rickey Causey also admitted to calling the victim into his bedroom, and having her undress and touch her privates while he masturbated. He stated this occurred "three of four" times at the residence on Mauch Chunk Road, and "two times" in their present home on Lafayette Avenue. He further admitted to touching the victim's privates with his hand "a couple times", but denied touching her with anything other than his hand and denied penetrating her. He also stated that he asked the victim to touch him.

On Dec. 9, a forensic interview of the victim was conducted at the Children's Advocacy Center in Scranton. The interview was conducted by Forensic Interviewer Kristin Fetcho, who has more than 16 years experience in the field, the affidavit says.

During the interview, the victim described being touched inappropriately by Causey on numerous occasions. She stated this happened for the first time when she was 6, when the family was living at her grandparent's home, and that "Rick" touched her "private area with his private area" on the outside. The victim told her mother about the touching, but "she didn't do anything".

The victim also described an incident which occurred in the family's Lafayette Avenue home about two weeks ago. She stated that "Rick took her up to his bedroom while his mother was at work, and made her undress and lie on the bed. He then undressed, and touched her "private area".

The victim went on to describe her asking "Rick" for permission to leave the house, and he replied that she had to go to the basement with him first. In the basement, he again performed sexual acts.

The victim then described "Rick" playing videos for her of adults who would "put themselves inside each other". At these times "he would get (adult) toys out",.

The victim also stated that these encounters began when was 6 years old in 2002, and continued regularly up until Nov. 15 of this year. She stated these encounters would happen "whenever he felt like it, not every day of the week but sometimes a couple of times a day".

After the interview, the victim was examined by CAC staff member Sandra Federo, CRNP, a child abuse nurse specialist. This exam showed that the victim had been penetrated vaginally, and anally.