WILKES-BARRE — City police believe a Kingston man used a 4-year-old boy to gain the trust of a woman he lured to the top floor of the James F. Conahan Intermodal Parking Garage where he allegedly raped her.
It is the second time authorities believe William Esser, 27, sexually assaulted a woman with the boy in his custody.
Hanover Township police allege Esser picked up a woman at Academy and South Main streets and drove her to Hanover Crossings Corporate Park where he forced her to perform a lewd sex act with the boy in the back seat of his car on July 1.
Esser has been jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $20,000 bail since his arrest by township police.
City police on Wednesday said they charged Esser with rape and sexual assault for the alleged incident in the downtown parking garage off Washington Street on June 24.
According to the criminal complaint filed with District Judge Martin Kane:
A woman told police she missed a Luzerne County Transportation Authority bus to Geisinger Medical Center for a doctor’s appointment. While rescheduling the appointment, she engaged in a conversation with Esser, who stood near her with a 4-year-old boy.
Esser asked the woman to go for a walk. She agreed, telling police she did not feel threatened because the boy was friendly.
As they walked up stairs in the garage, the woman said, Esser told the boy to sit down. Esser then allegedly exposed himself and asked the woman to perform a lewd sex act, the complaint says.
The woman refused as they walked toward an elevator. Esser pushed the button for the top floor, where he told the boy to sit on the stairs, and cornered the woman and raped her, according to the complaint.
In the Hanover Township incident, a woman claimed she was waiting under a business awning because it was raining and could not get her umbrella open. Esser was in a car with the boy in the back seat and offered the woman a ride. She asked to be taken to her son’s day care center or her mother’s place of employment on Hazle Avenue.
Esser drove her to Great Valley Boulevard in Hanover Crossings, parked at the dead-end and forced her to perform a lewd sex act. The woman said Esser told her he enjoys picking up woman and taking them “in the middle of nowhere,” the complaint says.
Esser is facing charges of sexual assault in county court involving the alleged incident in Hanover Township.