NBC10.com - Denise Nakano
A man is in jail after police say he raped a 4-year-old boy in broad daylight in Bethlehem. While the suspect is behind bars, police are still concerned that he may have had other victims. Police also say the suspect has Hepatitis C. NBC10's Denise Nakano has the story.
Bethlehem resident Michael Lopez only has one word to describe 56-year-old Donald Pembleton.
"A monster," said Lopez. "Taking innocence from a young person is not correct."
On April 26, Pembleton allegedly sexually assaulted a 4-year-old boy in the backyard of a home on the 500 block of Thomas Street in Bethlehem, Pa. Police say a neighbor witnessed the act, which occurred in broad daylight, and called 911.
“(The neighbor) was going to scream but she called the cops and gave her address,” said Lopez. “When they came to her house she told them to look out the window which leads to the backyard. The cop actually saw everything.”
The two responding officers quickly apprehended and arrested Pembleton. Police say it's unusual for officers to catch a predator out in the open and in the middle of an assault.
“It’s very rare, one in a million,” said Bethlehem Police Det. Miles Miller.
After his arrest, Pembleton allegedly admitted to having Hepatitis C, a disease that can be spread through sexual contact. Police say Pembleton did not know the victim and has no prior criminal record.
Investigators also say before the assault, he was canvassing the neighborhood for weeks, looking for young children. Police now fear there may be more victims.
"It's actually a parent's worst nightmare," said Miller.
Pembleton is charged with aggravated assault, indecent assault, endangering the welfare of a child and other related offenses. He is currently being held in the Northampton County Prison on $75,000 bail. Police are currently interviewing families that came into contact with him.