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Ex-Allegheny College administrator to go to trial over alleged fondling of 11-year-old

| Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, 10:30 a.m.
Metrocreative

A former associate director of admissions and international student coordinator at Allegheny College has been ordered to trial for allegedly sexually touching an 11-year-old Meadville boy.

Luiz H. Pereira, 53, of 1 Black Spruce Court, Buffalo, N.Y., was ordered held for trial on all three counts against him filed by Meadville Police Department following a 50-minute preliminary hearing Tuesday before Magisterial District Judge Samuel Pendolino. Pereira now is scheduled to trial in Crawford County Court of Common Pleas during the June term of criminal court.

On Jan. 24, Pereira was arrested following an interview at Meadville Police Department on one count each of unlawful contact with a minor sexual offense, indecent assault on a child under age 13 and harassment for allegedly fondling the boy at a North Main Street home. Pereira was fired by Allegheny College that same day after he initially had been arraigned on the criminal charges.

Det. Sgt. Justin Bailey of Meadville Police Department was the only person to testify at Tuesday's hearing.

Bailey testified police were contacted by the boy's family following the alleged incident and the boy was subsequently interviewed by Lisa Pierro, a forensic interviewer at Crawford County Children and Youth Services. The boy's interview was video recorded by CYS and it also was monitored live by Bailey, Bailey testified.

The boy stated he had been touched inappropriately by Pereira, Bailey testified.

Bailey testified that during the interview the boy, through tears, couldn't bring himself to state what Pereira said during the alleged touching, but wrote it down for the interviewer. When asked by the interviewer if those were Pereira's statements, the boy then confirmed it, Bailey said.

“He (the boy) said he (Pereira) said, ‘Let me see your (expletive). Let me see your big (expletive).' And he (the boy) said it was said twice,” Bailey testified.

Pereira was in the boy's home in September as part of an Airbnb reservation and Pereira had stayed at the home previously, Bailey testified.

Airbnb is an online market which lets people rent out their properties or spare rooms to guests for short-term stays. The home is located near the college's campus.

The boy's mother was not home at the time of the alleged incident, but the boy, another child and the mother's boyfriend were, Bailey testified. The two children and the mother's boyfriend had been seated on an L-shaped couch in the living room when Pereira arrived and was let into the home by the boyfriend, Bailey said.

Bailey testified he conducted a separate interview with the mother's boyfriend, who corroborated the boy's version of events.

The mother's boyfriend stated Pereira came into the living room of the home, began tickling the boy first on his head, then sides then grabbed the boy's crotch area through the boy's clothing with Pereira making the alleged statements twice, Bailey testified.

The mother's boyfriend quoted Pereira as saying to the boy “Let's see that (expletive). Let's see how big that (expletive) is,” Bailey testified. Bailey testified the mother's boyfriend heard Pereira make those statements twice.

The boyfriend told police he then intervened, grabbed Pereira's wrist and had Pereira go out onto the home's porch while the boyfriend then put the children to bed, Bailey said.

Bailey testified the mother's boyfriend stated to police he didn't confront Pereira about the situation because the children were not the boyfriend's kids.

The boyfriend told police Pereira called the next day and Pereira began crying when the two men began to discuss the alleged incident with the child, Bailey testified. Pereira stated to the boyfriend he would never do something like that, Bailey testified.

The boyfriend told police Pereira denied he ever made any sexually suggestive statements to the child, Bailey said.

Pereira remains free on $15,000 cash bond awaiting trial.

If convicted in county Court of Common Pleas on all charges, Pereira could face up to 12 years and three months in prison and $25,300 in fines.

The unlawful contact with a minor sexual offense charge, a third-degree felony, has a maximum of seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine; the indecent assault on a child under the age of 13, a first-degree misdemeanor, has a maximum of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine; and harassment by physical contact, a summary offense, has a maximum of three months in jail and a $300 fine.

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