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Police: National Guard soldier raped unconscious woman in PA

A judge's gavel. (Dreamstime/TNS)

A Pennsylvania Army National Guard soldier with the 109th Field Artillery is accused of sexually assaulting a woman last year in a Wilkes-Barre home, according to charges filed Thursday by city police.

Alejandro Velazco, 24, of South Empire Street, is charged with involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with an unconscious victim and forcible rape.

The alleged assault occurred during a 109th drill weekend when the woman and two of Velazco’s fellow soldiers stayed over Velazco’s residence the night before another drill session, police said.

Investigators say Velazco denied having sex with the woman, but two DNA tests on the woman’s underwear indicated it was 32 trillion times more likely and 44 octillion times more likely the samples matched with Velazco’s DNA, police said.

Police said Velazco, who she only casually knew, invited the woman over to his residence to watch the Army-Navy football game and she felt comfortable going because she was friends with the other two soldiers. Over the course of several hours, she said she had two alcoholic drinks, several sips of a hard seltzer, and two shots of liquor, which left her buzzed, but not highly intoxicated.

When the group decided to go to sleep, she said she attempted to try to sleep on the couch, but Velazco started kissing her and asking her to have sex, police said.

The woman said she made it clear she did not want to have sex, according to police. In his interview, Velazco admitted that the woman “clearly said no” and didn’t want to have sex, police said.

The woman told police Velazco continued to try to be intimate with her, causing her to turn away and either black out or faint, police said.

When she woke up, she said she felt pain like she did have sex and her underwear was on inside out. Later that day, she went to the hospital for a sexual assault evaluation and police were contacted.

Hours prior to the alleged assault, Velazco’s told his fellow soldiers he was going to try to “get with” the woman that night, police said.

Following Velazco’s arraignment by Magisterial District Judge Thomas F. Malloy Sr., he was released on $25,000 unsecured bail. Efforts to determine Velazco’s status with the National Guard were not immediately successful Friday.


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