A registered sex offender residing in the city was arrested last week after allegedly holding a 15-year-old girl against her will on several occasions earlier this month.


A registered sex offender residing in the city was arrested last week after allegedly holding a 15-year-old girl against her will on several occasions earlier this month.
The suspect — Tito Guzman, 32, of 83 Brook St. — is a level-three sex offender in New York.  Guzman is listed on the Pennsylvania State Police’s website for Megan’s Law registry of sex offenders, and he is prohibited from having contact with minors.
The 15-year-old victim was escorted by a local pastor into police headquarters on Thursday, April 7, where she reported that Guzman had been forcibly restraining her at times since April 1 by locking her in a bedroom with him and making her sleep in the same bed.
Police confirmed Guzman’s status as a sex offender in New York by calling the N.Y. State Division of Criminal Justice.
Sgt. Joseph Laguzzi also contacted the county’s Children & Youth Services, and caseworker Tammy Gallagher interviewed both the victim and her grandmother.  Gallagher then arranged for a more in-depth interview of the two to be conducted at the Childrens Advocacy Center in Scranton.  She participated in that interview as well, along with Dr. Michael Rogan and forensic interviewer Kristen Fetcho.
According to the affidavit, based upon those interviews, Guzman not only forced the victim to sleep in the same bed with him — so that she could “feel him breathing on her neck” — but he exposed his genitals to her, made her watch pornography, and tried to get her to smoke cigarettes.
The affidavit states that Guzman also asked her if she wanted to join the Crips gang, telling her the initiation would involve either having sexual relations with two random men or being beaten up.  In addition, he woke her up in the middle of the night by putting his foot in her mouth.
Following the investigation, Guzman was arrested on Sunday, April 10, on charges of unlawful restraint, indecent assault, indecent exposure, and corruption of minors.  The charges were approved by Assistant District Attorney Patricia Lafferty.
Guzman was arraigned the following day and remanded to Lackawanna County Prison in lieu of $250,000 bail.
A preliminary hearing was set for April 18.