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Police in Midwest nab area woman with teen runaway

| Friday, June 8, 2001

A Somerset County woman faces a hearing Monday in Wisconsin, where she was arrested after having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old boy who ran off with her, police said.

Stephanie Anne McCusker, 27, of Rockwood, is charged with second-degree sexual assault of a child after admitting to investigators near Milwaukee that she and the teen-ager had run off together last weekend and had a consensual relationship on two occasions, a Wisconsin police report states.

The teen-ager has been returned to his parents in Pennsylvania, police said.

State police in Somerset County said they are consulting with the local district attorney to determine if charges are warranted in Pennsylvania.

Letters the two were carrying indicated that McCusker and the boy were planning to go to Montana or Alaska to live and that they planned to get married when he got older, said police in Oak Hill, Wis., where they were arrested.

McCusker and the youth told police they left Pennsylvania together about 7 a.m. Saturday. They were found asleep in a car parked in Oak Hill during the early morning hours Sunday, police said.

Police checked on the two after officers saw the car with a Pennsylvania registration plate parked in an empty parking lot of a fast-food restaurant.

There was no indication of wrongdoing when police awoke the two but when officers ran an information check, they found the teen had been reported missing in Pennsylvania.

McCusker was then arrested on charges of sheltering or concealing a runaway child.

When police officers searched the car, they found three loaded hunting rifles and equipment for camping, fishing, trapping and outdoor cooking.

During interviews, McCusker and the teen admitted having a consensual relationship. McCusker told police she thought the age of consent for sexual relationships was 13.

The hearing for McCusker, who is married and the mother of two children, will be held in Milwaukee County Court.

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