Man charged with sexual assault of young girl over 9 year period
TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS Edward Gruenemeier Jr. is shown being escorted from the office of District Judge Bruce Appleton of Palmerton on Wednesday. Gruenemeier waived his right to a preliminary hearing.
A Luzerne County man charged with the alleged sexual assault of a girl will have his case heard in Carbon County court.
Edward Gruenemeier, Jr., 35, of West Hazleton, waived his right to a preliminary hearing before District Judge Bruce Appleton of Palmerton on Wednesday.
Gruenemeier has been charged with one count each of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, statutory sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, endangering the welfare of children, corruption of minors, and indecent assault.
He has been recommitted to Carbon County Prison in lieu of $100,000 straight bail. He is scheduled to have his case heard in the Carbon County Court of Pleas on May 12.
According to the affidavit of probable cause filed by Pennsylvania State Trooper Louis Rossi and Trooper Nicolas De La Iglesia:
The victim related the following chain of events that led to her reporting that her former guardian had been having sexual intercourse with her in multiple jurisdictions since she was 13, according to the affidavit.
When the victim was 13 years old, legal custody was granted to her father in the state of North Carolina, the affidavit says. Because the victim's father was a professional truck driver, he could not provide constant care and supervision. The victim began to live with her father's sister, and husband, the defendant, in 2002.
In Dec. of 2002, when the victim was 13, Gruenemeier began a course of conduct where he would sexually assault the victim. In Jan. of 2003, a petition was granted to award legal guardianship to the victim's aunt and Gruenemeier. At or about the time the petition was granted, the victim reported to her aunt that Gruenemeier had been assaulting her, but her aunt claimed she did not believe her, scolded her, and took no action.
Between Dec. of 2002, and May of 2003, Gruenemeier methodically groomed the victim by introducing different sexual actions to the victim. Gruenemeier would reinforce these actions by telling the victim that he "cared for her", that he "wanted to be with her", and that he "loved her".
In May of 2003, when the victim was 13, Gruenemeier first engaged in sexual intercourse with the victim while they lived in the state of North Carolina.
In Nov. of 2003, when the victim was 14, the Gruenemeiers and the victim moved to Lebanon, as the sexual activity including intercourse between Gruenemeier and the victim continued. Intercourse occurred as many as three or more times each week.
In Aug. of 2004, when the victim was 15, the Gruenemeiers and the victim moved to Palmerton. During that time, the Gruenemeiers had frequent domestic disputes. The victim also had frequent arguments with them. Sexual activity, including intercourse, continued between Gruenemeier and the victim.
In Nov. of 2005, when the victim was 16, the victim's aunt moved out of the home, leaving the victim with Gruenemeier. Sexual activity, including intercourse, continued.
In March of 2006, when the victim was 16, Gruenemeier and the victim moved to Lansford, in an apartment directly across the street from the victim's father's sister. During that time, Gruenemeier continued to engage in sexual activity with the victim and at other times he visited with his wife across the street in an attempt to reconcile his marriage.
In Oct. of 2006, while the victim was 17, Gruenemeier and the victim moved to the Penn Terrace Motel in Hazel Township, where sexual activity, including intercourse, continued.
In Dec. of 2006, while the victim was 17, she became pregnant with Gruenemeier's child. Sexual activity, including intercourse, continued.
In Sept. of 2007, when the victim was 18, she gave birth to Gruenemeier's son. Sexual activity, including intercourse, continued.
In May, of 2009, the victim gave birth to Gruenemeier's daughter. Sexual activity, including intercourse, continued. Gruenemeier instructed the victim not to identify him as the father of the child on any birth records.
In Aug. of 2009, a domestic dispute between the victim and Gruenemeier occurred, where Gruenemeier physically choked the victim until the victim's vision went black.
In Sept. of 2009, the victim's aunt and Gruenemeier divorced. Sexual activity, including intercourse, continued between Gruenemeier and the victim.
In Jan. of 2010, a domestic dispute between the victim and Gruenemeier occurred, where Gruenemeier complained that he had difficulty putting the children to bed when the victim was not yet home. Gruenemeier then struck the victim with a closed fist, causing the victim jaw pain for about one week.
In the summer months of 2010, a domestic dispute between the victim and Gruenemeier occurred, where Gruenemeier brandished a knife and threatened to cut the victim's throat because he believed the victim was having a relationship with an unknown person.
Throughout this time, Gruenemeier had threatened to harm the victim if she ever reported his crimes to police. Gruenemeier also threatened that if he was ever incarcerated for his crime, he would instruct his associates to harm the victim.
Gruenemeier was arrested for charges in Luzerne County, and read his Miranda Rights. He acknowledged these rights, and denied having sex with the victim before Dec. of 2007. He further related that after moving to the Penn Terrace Motel, he did have a sexual relationship with the victim, and fathered two children with her. He further related that this sexual relationship was consensual.