A Tamaqua man charged with sexually assaulting two young girls more than 12 years ago had his $100,000 straight cash bail reduced Tuesday in the District Court of Judge Stephen Bayer, Tamaqua. But Robert L. Raeder, 45, of 107 Gay St. will not be out on the streets on his own recognizance. The bail reduction just made it possible for federal authorities to prosecute Raeder.
Raeder was in Bayer's court to waive his right to a preliminary hearing on felony charges of rape of a child, aggravated indecent assault, unlawful contact with a minor, corruption of minors, indecent assault and indecent exposure. Charges of child pornography were dropped at the county level to allow for federal prosecution on those charges.
The county charges were filed by Pennsylvania State Trooper Edward Lizewski following a lengthy investigation that was conducted after numerous Polaroid photos depicting child nudity and sexual assault were discovered during a community clean up in Walker Township. The photos were found along Valley Road on April 12, 2012. The children in the photos, ages 4 and 5 at the time of the alleged assaults, were identified in October of 2012 when the victims' photos were made available to local media outlets after the data bases of the PSP Computer Crimes Unit and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children were unable to provide any information. The parents of one of the children were able to recognize both girls and contacted state police.
A federal grand jury indicted Raeder on charges of sexual exploitation of children possession and production of child pornography on March 26. A federal detainer was placed against him, in addition to the $100,000 bail set by Judge Bayer at Raeder's arraignment on Dec. 20, 2012. He will now be transferred to the custody of federal authorities to await a preliminary hearing on the child pornography charges.