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Infant sex assault alleged in Rostraver

| Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012

Rostraver police have accused a Fayette County man of sexually assaulting his girlfriend's 3-month-old daughter while babysitting the infant.

The mother asked Joseph Ronnie Settle, 18, of 316 Fifth St., West Leisenring, to watch her daughter for several hours on Oct. 22 as she ran errands, according to an affidavit of probable cause Rostraver Township police Sgt. Kerry J. August filed with Magisterial District Judge Joseph Dalfonso in Monessen.

The woman, who lives in Rostraver Township, told police she returned home and found her daughter "crying uncontrollably," the affidavit states.

Police said the child was treated in the emergency room at Excela Health Frick hospital in Mount Pleasant.

The infant was transferred to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.

When police questioned Settle, he claimed he might have "accidentally scratched" the child while changing her diaper.

In the affidavit, August wrote that he received the final doctor's report on Oct. 27 that indicated the infant had been sexually assaulted.

August said a fax he received Nov. 11 from the Pittsburgh Child Advocacy Center at Children's Hospital also stated that a sexual assault had taken place.

The affidavit states that a doctor from Children's Hospital on Feb. 3 stated the infant's injuries were not accidental.

Settle is charged with one felony count each of aggravated assault, aggravated indecent assault without consent, aggravated indecent assault - forcible compulsion, and aggravated indecent assault - person less than 13 years old.

Settle faces one misdemeanor count each of indecent assault - person less 13 years of age, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, and endangering the welfare of children.

He is being held in the Westmoreland County Prison in lieu of $100,000 straight cash bond.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday at Dalfonso's office.

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