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Man Accused of Groping Two Young Girls

WEST PITTSTON, Pa. -- A man from Luzerne County is facing charges after allegedly groping a young girl.

This is the second time Bruce Panattieri, 23, of Edwardsville, has been charged with a crime against an underage girl. Both girls are sisters.

Police said Panattieri would come into the victims' rooms as they were sleeping and grope them. Police said one of the victims woke up to Panattieri trying to take topless pictures of her.

Back in June, he was first charged with the indecent assault of a 12-year-old girl. That same night he was first arrested, police said the second sister came forward.

"The first case and second case are very similar," Chief Michael Turner said. "He'd sneak into the bedroom at night."

Court papers show the first alleged victim said this all began when she was in fourth grade. She said Panattieri groped her on several occasions. Court papers show he told her to, "keep the assault a secret."

The second sister said the sexual assaults started when she was 16. In court papers, she said Panattieri, "crept alongside her bed and placed his hands down her pants."

She also told police she woke up to a, "flash of light from a camera and that her shirt was pulled up," saying Panattieri took pictures of her as she slept.

The second sister said the assaults happened so frequently, she started to barricade her room to protect herself from Panattieri.

"I'm happy for the family. The family has some closure now until the case is resolved," Chief Turner said.

Bruce Panattieri is free after posting $25,000 bail. He is not allowed to contact either of the sisters. He is also not allowed to be near anyone under the age of 18 without adult supervision.


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