News Article Details

Dunmore man pleads guilty to raping autistic woman

Times-Tribune - 10/30/2017

Oct. 30--A 58-year-old Dunmore man pleaded guilty today to raping an autistic woman with limited mental abilities last year and faces up to 20 years in state prison.

Joseph C. Caswell, who lived on the third floor of 417 Smith St. prior to his June 2016 arrest, stood before Lackawanna County President Judge Michael J. Barrasse while Deputy District Attorney Jennifer McCambridge alleged he had sexual intercourse with a woman incapable of giving consent.

"Sir, did you commit that crime?" Barrasse asked.

Caswell hesitated for a brief moment.

"Yes, I did," he said.

Scranton police charged Caswell with sexual assault, indecent assault and rape of a mentally disabled person, the latter of which, a first-degree felony, he pleaded guilty to today.

The Times-Tribune does not identify victims of sexual assault.

Detectives learned that the victim, then 27, gave birth to a boy, who foster parents took home, on Nov. 28, 2015. The infant's mother had the mental capabilities of a 5-year-old, police said.

Detectives used DNA testing to confirm Caswell is the child's father. Initially, he said he is sterile. Then, he admitted he and the victim had sex in his car at East Scranton Little League Field.

Caswell waived his right to be sentenced within 90 days of his guilty plea to allow time for an assessment under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.

Contact the writer: jkohut@timesshamrock.com, 570-348-9144; @jkohutTT on Twitter.

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