Police: Jeannette man accused in Hempfield rape of 14-year-old girl fled to Kentucky
A Jeannette man fled to Kentucky in an effort to avoid being arrested on allegations he raped a 14-year-old girl, according to state police.
Steven Alan Deluke, 40, was identified as the suspect in the Hempfield case through bodily fluids collected in a rape kit, according to court papers. Deluke was brought to Pennsylvania this week by Westmoreland County authorities. He was being held at the county jail Thursday on $100,000 bail.
Troopers filed numerous charges — including rape and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse — against him last month.
Witnesses said Deluke was drinking with the girl’s father on Aug. 16 when the pair went to the man’s Hempfield home. In the early morning hours the next day, the girl told troopers Deluke came into her bedroom and woke her, according to court papers.
She turned on a bedside lamp, but Deluke turned it back off and started touching her, police said.
He ripped her pants off and raped her until the girl was able to break free and turn the lamp on, wielding it as a weapon, according to court papers. Deluke told the girl he “didn’t mean it” and unscrewed the lamp’s light bulb before fleeing the room when she again threatened him with it, police said.
The girl went to Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital, where a sexual assault nurse examiner completed a rape kit. DNA collected in that kit matched Deluke, police said.
Deluke denied raping the girl, but told police he went into her bedroom and removed the light bulb, according to court papers.
He did not have an attorney listed in online court records. A July 19 preliminary hearing is set.
State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said in April that the number of untested rape kits in Pennsylvania had dropped dramatically, from more than 3,200 to 339 in the last three years. He took up the issue in 2016 because of a backlog of untested kits, which are examined by forensic scientists for details police can use in an investigation.
By the end of last year, there were no backlogged kits at any of the six of the state police crime labs, including one in Hempfield, where the kit in Deluke’s case was tested.
Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Renatta at 724-837-5374, [email protected] or via Twitter .