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Lansford teen charged as adult in violent rape

Published October 05. 2009 02:55PM

A Lansford teenager was charged as an adult in the severe beating and rape of his father's girlfriend in April.

Dean W. Tessitore Jr., 17, allegedly attacked the woman as she took a shortcut through the woods at about 6 p.m. on April 3 in retribution for calling the police the day before to stop a fight between Tessitore and his father, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed by Det./Sgt. Jack Soberick.

Tessitore is charged with aggravated assault, rape, attempted rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and sexual assault, all felonies. He is also charged with two counts each of indecent and simple assault, and terroristic threats. Carbon County Court Judge Roger Nanovic on June 25 ruled that Tessitore should be charged as an adult.

Tessitore is in county prison on $100,000 percentage bail.

Soberick was called by Officer Robert Shubeck, who requested assistance with his investigation of the assault. The victim was so badly beaten she was taken to the Level 1 Trauma Center at Lehigh Valley Hospital, Salisbury Township.

According to the affidavit and a hospital interview with Sgt. Kevin Soberick of the Salisbury Township Police Department:

The victim told Shubeck that she had taken the shortcut between Andrewsville and the eastern end of Ridge Street with Tessitore. They were returning home to 35 Andrewsville St. after spending time in the downtown area. The victim said Tessitore had gotten agitated early while attempting to buy cigarettes. As they entered the woods, he turned to her and asked her if she was ready to die, she was not leaving the woods alive. He then asked her if she knew what happens to snitches. Tessitore answered his own question, stating that they die.

Tessitore began to punch, slap and strike her about the face. This was done multiple times, causing her to fall and lose strength. After striking her, he ordered her to expose her breasts to him. She told police she feared for her life and feared he would kill her if she did not comply. At some point, Tessitore forced the victim to perform a sex act on him, striking her as she did.

Afterward, Tessitore again beat her face and head, causing her to fall. He ordered her to stand up again, and again beat her in the face. He then attempted to rape her.

Following Tessitore's orders, she stayed with him, but sought refuge with neighbors when they arrived at 35 Andrewsville St.

After contacting an interested adult, Tessitore was provided his Miranda warnings. After initially invoking his rights, Tessitore spontaneously gave a verbal statement denying any assault, claiming that the victim had in fact fallen, injuring herself. He claimed in fact that he had carried the victim to safety.

Clearly visible on Tessitore's face and forehead were multiple droplets of blood spatter. Smeared and dried blood was visible on his hands.

On April 4 at 9 p.m., Jack Soberick interviewed the victim in her hospital room. She basically related the same version of the incident as she had previously stated to Sgt. Kevin Soberick. She did clarify that Tessitore did carry her to the house from across the street. She said that she had no more strength.

However, Tessitore had instructed her to tell anyone that might ask that unknown people had assaulted her and that Tessitore had saved her.

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