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Rape joins long list of charges for Lower Burrell man

| Friday, July 12, 2013, 12:31 a.m.
Photo courtesy of Westmoreland County jail
Westmoreland County Detectives on August 14, 2013, charged William Grant, 20, of Lower Burrell with rape and related charges for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl earlier this year. He was arrested last month on similar charges involving a 13-year-old girl by New Kensington police in July.

New Kensington police on Thursday added rape to the list of 32 other charges a Lower Burrell man faces for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old girl this spring.

William Christopher Grant, 20, of Hastings Drive is accused of having sex with the girl six times in March and April at the girl's house and the Pittsburgh Ice Arena in New Kensington.

Detective Lt. James Klein in a criminal complaint said the victim reported the alleged abuse in late April after she said Grant confessed that he was 20, not 16, as he had initially told her.

According to the complaint:

The girl met Grant in early March at the Craigdell Road ice rink, and they communicated for several days through text messages. She told police he at one point told her he was 20, but she didn't believe him.

She said she agreed to “be his girl forever.”

The girl told police they kissed and socialized on two occasions at her home when she was alone. She said during the second meeting, Grant tried to touch her in a sexual way and got angry when she made him stop.

On the third meeting at her home, the girl said Grant convinced her to have sex. Afterward, he allegedly said, “Congrats, you're not a virgin anymore.”

The girl said she had sex with him five more times, including once in a bathroom at the ice rink.

“The victim said she did it again because she knew he would get angry if she said no,” Klein wrote.

The girl told police it was after the sixth sexual encounter, which occurred on her 14th birthday, that she learned Grant's age. She told police she became upset, and that was the last time she saw him.

Klein wrote that Grant was interviewed on May 29 and admitted to the sexual relationship in a recorded statement.

But on Thursday, Grant's attorney, public defender Greg Cecchetti, indicated Grant planned to challenge the charges at his preliminary hearing.

Assistant District Attorney Leo Ciaramitaro said the prosecution instead would withdraw the charges and immediately refiled them with a count of rape by forcible compulsion added to the tally.

Grant also is charged with seven counts each of unlawful contact with a minor, indecent assault and corruption of a minor; six counts of statutory sexual assault; four counts of aggravated indecent assault; and a count of sexual assault.

Grant was arraigned again and continues to be held in the Westmoreland County jail in lieu of $75,000 bond.

Ciaramitaro requested Pallone increase the bond to $250,000 since the rape charge was added, Grant has an outstanding warrant, and Ciaramitaro said it took some time to locate him.

But Pallone noted Grant already has been in jail since his May arrest and hasn't been able to make bail.

Grant told the judge he lives with a relative, has no job and has two children for whom he does not pay child support.

He told Pallone he is on probation for a conviction on a theft charge last year.

Grant faces a preliminary hearing on the sex assault charges before Pallone on July 25.

Liz Hayes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4680 or lhayes@tribweb.com.

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