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Caretaker charged with raping mentally disabled woman

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Published September 25. 2018 02:09PM

Police say a man who worked as a caretaker for a mentally disabled Lansford woman raped her while her mother watched TV in the next room.

James Thomas Nunemacher, 55, of East Bertsch Street in the borough, worked as a caretaker for the victim and her grandfather, according to police. The victim’s mother told police that he had access to the home, also located on East Bertsch Street, but she did not know he was there at the time of the alleged rape.

The mother told state police that on the night of Sept. 18, she was watching football in her living room when she noticed several lights were on that she did not remember turning on. She went to turn them off, believing it was her mentally disabled daughter, who was supposed to be in bed.

The mother then noticed a door leading to an enclosed back patio was open, and went to investigate.

She told police that when she entered the patio, she saw Nunemacher pulling up his pants and adjusting his belt, and the victim lying on the floor of the patio partially undressed.

The mother said Nunemacher stood there stunned as the victim stood up and pulled her pants up. The victim then allegedly told Nunemacher he had to leave.

The victim was taken to St. Luke’s Miners Campus to be examined.

The morning after the alleged attack, state police interviewed the victim, who communicated despite limited verbal skills. She said Nunemacher had pushed her to the ground, removed some of her clothes, and engaged in intercourse with her.

Later that day, a trooper spoke to Nunemacher, who said he stayed at a friend’s home a couple blocks away that night, and had drank heavily at a pizza shop in the borough earlier that night. He said he did not recall raping the victim.

Nunemacher was sent to the Carbon County Correctional Facility. Bail was set at $75,000. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 3 at district court in Lansford.

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