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Jury convicts Hazleton man of rape

May 15. 2014 11:49PM

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WILKES-BARRE — A Luzerne County jury deliberated for less than 90 minutes on Wednesday and found a Hazleton man guilty of raping a woman nearly two years ago.

Bryant Peguero, 30, of Alter Street, was convicted of rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, stalking, simple assault and resisting arrest. He was acquitted of robbery.

Hazleton police said in arrest papers that Peguero followed a woman on Alter Street on June 16, 2013. The woman yelled at Peguero to stop following her and to leave her alone.

Police said Peguero punched the woman in the face and dragged her between two houses in the 600 block of Alter Street, where he choked and raped her, arrest papers say.

The woman attempted to call 911 but lost her cellphone when Peguero punched her, police said.

Police said the woman struggled with Peguero but gave up fearing Peguero would kill her.

Prosecutors said DNA evidence recovered from the woman linked Peguero to the attack.

When police served a search warrant for Peguero’s DNA on Jan. 5, 2013, he ran out of a house in the 500 block of Alter Street and fought with officers during the pursuit, according to arrest papers.

The trial was before Judge Fred Pierantoni III, who scheduled sentencing on Aug. 7.

Assistant District Attorney Jenny Roberts prosecuted.

Public defenders Charles Ross and Mark Singer defended Peguero.

Peguero remains jailed at the county correctional facility.

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