New Hanover Sex Assault Investigation Leads to Arrest
NEW HANOVER PA – A report of a 15-year-old girl’s sexual encounter with an older married man, under investigation since May by New Hanover Township Police, has resulted in the arrest of 55-year-old Jonathan Faucette of Perkasie (at top). He faces multiple felony charges relating to sexual assault, Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele said Tuesday (July 20, 2021).
The announcement also prompted Steele to warn parents about a chat and video website and app known as “Omegle,” which Faucette allegedly used to contact the victim as a then-unknown stranger. “Stranger danger is real online,” Steele said. “Parents need to make sure they talk to their kids about the dangers in using this kind of a platform.”
New Hanover police were alerted May 18 of the encounter by a state ChildLine report. ChildLine is part of a required protective services program that in part accepts child abuse referrals and quickly transmits information to appropriate investigating agencies.
The department learned that, after they began messaging, Faucette and the victim agreed May 7 to meet at a township park. There, police allege, he spread a blue blanket in an adjacent wooded area and then sexually assaulted the girl through intercourse and other sex acts.
Steele credited the department and Chief Kevin McKeon with obtaining information from Internet service providers that traced Faucette’s online activity to his Perkasie home. A later search of that property and car “found a blue blanket and other evidence consistent with the victim’s account of assault,” the district attorney added.
Faucette is charged with felony statutory sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, corruption of minors, unlawful contact with minors, criminal use of communications facility, and other related charges. A preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Judge Maurice Saylor is scheduled for July 27 (Tuesday) in his Gilbertsville courtroom.
He was earlier arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Henry J. Nesbitt III, who set bail at $500,000 cash, with additional conditions of no contact with the victim, no contact with juveniles, and no Internet usage. Faucette, unable to post bail, was transferred to the county jail. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Chief of Trials Brianna Ringwood and Assistant District Attorney Gabrielle Glenning.
Of Omegle and apps like it, Steele warned “the online world is a serious threat to young girls and boys since its anonymity makes it attractive to sexual predators.” Parents, he added, must teach children “how people can lie about who they are and, above all, (about) the danger of meeting someone in real life who they have only talked to online.”
Photo supplied by the Montgomery County District Attorney