A Bethlehem man who was caught raping a 4-year-old child in a South Side residential back yard in broad daylight was sentenced to no less than 28½ years in a state prison by a Northampton County judge on Tuesday, according online court records.
Bethlehem police caught Donald B. Pembleton, 56, in the act of assaulting the child, on April 26, a Friday afternoon. A neighbor had called 911 to report an “older male” sexually assaulting a child in the rear yard of a home on Thomas Street, according to court records.
After arresting Pembleton, police also discovered that Pembleton was positive for Hepatitis C, a virus that infects the liver and is spread primarily through blood-to-blood contact.
The shocking discovery of a sexual predator in the neighborhood led Bethlehem police to ask parents of other possible victims to come forward. Apparently, no other victims did.
Pembleton pleaded guilty in September to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, criminal attempt to commit aggravated indecent assault on someone less than 13 years old, recklessly endangering another person and corruption of minors.
Judge Paula Roscioli ordered that the sentences for all four of the crimes be served consecutively—providing for a maximum sentence of 57 years.
Roscioli also handed out the maximum possible sentences for each crime that she was able to under the law, according to The Morning Call.
The judge said that examiners concluded that Pembleton is a “very high risk” to offend again, an assessment she said she could not remember seeing before, the newspaper reported.