A Wind Gap man is accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl from Plainfield Township on four separate occasions in 2009 and 2010, according to court records.
Thomas J. Ceraul, 42, of 561 W. Center St., is facing multiple felony sex crime charges including statutory sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse.
He was committed to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $250,000 bail on Wednesday.
Each time, according to the arrest warrant, the girl, who was 13 during the first encounter and 14 during the next three meetings, walked from her grandparents’ house, where she was staying, to a Sunoco gas station on Sullivan Trail to meet Ceraul, the court papers said.
The first three times, Ceraul and the girl ended up in a beer-can-strewn basement of 109 B St. in Pen Argyl where the sex acts were performed, the warrant says. The fourth and final time, Ceraul drove the girl to a parking lot next to the Weis Market in Forks Township and had her perform sexual acts there, police said.
During an interview with Pen Argyl police, which filed charges, Ceraul claimed all of the meetings were consensual, that she “pursued” him and said he had a “love letter” from the girl, the arrest affidavit says. But he failed to show up for a follow up interview or produce the letter.
According to the affidavit:
- Ceraul and the girl met in early 2009 through the social networking sitemyyearbook.com, which has since changed to meetme.com. Ceraul was using his son, Thomas J. Ceraul Jr.’s profile.
- Ceraul Jr. actually drove his father, the suspect, to the first meeting at the Sunoco. The girl got in the back seat with Ceraul and Ceraul Jr. drove them to the house in Pen Argyl. “If anybody asks, you are 19 years old,” Ceraul told her.
- In the basement of the home, Ceraul gave the girl a beer, which she drank. During the encounter, Ceraul tied the girl’s wrists and ankles with a computer cord and tied a bandana around her head and in her mouth.
- Ceraul and the girl made contact again in early 2010 through a Yahoo Instant Message and she agreed to meet at the Sunoco gas station. Once again the encounter ended up in the Pen Argyl basement.
- There were two more meetings – one, which ended up in Pen Argyl and another, which ended up in the Forks Township parking lot.
- The girl reported the incidents to Pen Argyl police on June 13.
Ceraul is facing six counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse; four counts each of statutory sexual assault and indecent assault; and one count each of aggravated indecent assault corruption of minors and furnishing liquor to minors.