WILKES-BARRE — A 15-year old girl testified Wednesday that Danny Maldonado, who survived multiple gunshot wounds in a triple homicide nearly two years ago, first began kissing her on the cheek.
Then she alleged it turned to mouth kissing, groping and sexual encounters as weeks passed by.
Maldonado, 21, of East Carey Street, Plains Township, appeared for his preliminary hearing before District Judge Martin Kane on charges he sexually assaulted the girl when she was 14 years old from November to February.
After nearly one hour of testimony by the girl, who appeared frightened while she described the alleged assaults, Kane forwarded charges of rape, statutory sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault, indecent assault, child endangerment and corruption of minors against Maldonado to Luzerne County Court.
Kane dismissed two counts of aggravated indecent assault and one count of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse that involved force after Maldonado’s lawyer, Thomas Cometa, said the girl did not testify that she was threatened or forced to engage in sexual encounters.
The girl was the only witness called by Luzerne County Assistant District Attorney Cara Solomine.
She said Maldonado began pressuring her to have sex after his wife gave birth in early November. She said she told Maldonado, “No” the first couple of times he asked to kiss her.
The first kiss was on the cheek, she said. Two or three weeks after the first cheek kiss, she claimed Maldonado began kissing her on the mouth, which led to groping and sexual encounters.
Messages from Maldonado to the girl on Facebook were allegedly discovered by the girl’s mother in February. Maldonado allegedly wrote to the girl, “I love you miss you much my beautiful babii. I love you buy,” and “I’m dying to love you. Going to hospital now love you.”
On July 7, 2012, Maldonado survived three gunshot wounds, including one to his head, when his brother, Nicholas Maldonado, 17, Bradley Swartwood, 21, and Lisa Abaunza, 15, were killed in an apartment on First Street, Plymouth, in what state police at Wyoming said was a drug robbery.
Half-brothers Shawn Hamilton, 20, and Sawud Davis, 17, pleaded guilty to the homicides. Hamilton was sentenced to life in prison and Davis was sentenced to 20 to 40 years in prison.
Maldonado remains jailed at the county correctional facility for lack of $25,000 bail. A formal arraignment is scheduled on Sept. 12 in county court.