Tamaqua man convicted of raping girl, 12
A one-day trial in the court of Schuylkill County President Judge William E. Baldwin resulted in a guilty verdict for a Tamaqua man accused of raping a 12-year-old girl last year.
Angel Anthony "Sketch" Resto, 22, was found guilty of rape of a child, unlawful contact with a minor, statutory sexual assault, indecent assault, corruption of minors and indecent exposure by a jury composed of five women and seven men. The jury deliberated for less than an hour before reaching its verdict.
The young victim's mother contacted Tamaqua Police on May 21, 2013, after seeing messages on a social media site indicating the preteen was sexually active.
She questioned her daughter, who admitted having sex with a man known only to her by the name of "Sketch" in January. That man was identified as Resto.
The victim took the stand on Monday and told the court Resto took her to her sister's bedroom, where they had sex "until his phone rang."
He then got up and left.
A friend of the victim, who was in the house at the time of the incident, was called to testify.
She told the court Resto came to the house and took her friend into a bedroom, leaving her in the living room.
When he left and her friend came out, she noticed there was blood on the mattress.
She also admitted to defense lawyer Christopher Reidlinger that her friend seemed to be "pleased she had sex with Sketch."
Tamaqua Cpl. Henry Woods was the arresting officer.
After receiving the complaint, Woods contacted Resto, read him his Miranda Rights and questioned him about the rape.
Resto said he was at the girl's house, but never went inside. DNA evidence recovered from the mattress refuted that claim, testing positive for Resto's bodily fluids.
While there were some inconsistencies in the victim's statement to police and court testimony, Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Lehman used her closing arguments to convince the jury those differences were minor and did not "take away from the big picture. The victim could not legally consent to having sex with Resto."
Following the verdict, Baldwin ordered a presentence investigation and deferred sentencing.
Lehman requested revocation of Resto's bail, which was granted by the judge.
The defendant was handcuffed and led from the courtroom to the Schuylkill County Prison.
The guilty verdict could result in a jail term of 10 to 20 years as well as mandatory inclusion on the state's Megan's Law list for sex offenders.
After the verdict, Woods said, "These types of cases are very disheartening and tough to get through, for everyone. In this case, justice was served."