Search is on for alleged rapist
Area police are seeking the whereabouts of a convicted murderer, alleged to have raped a handicapped Catasauqua woman last month.
Catasauqua Police Chief Douglas Kish told The Press he does not want to cause a public panic.
“We do not believe he is a threat to citizens,” he said in a June 22 telephone interview. “He is not a serial rapist.”
The search for 39-year-old Antonio Serrano began May 23, following a report made by a woman saying she was attacked by her nephew, who had been staying in her apartment. The incident was reported to have happened in her Catasauqua High Rise apartment, which he had helped her move into recently.
While Serrano has no recent problems with police, according to Kish, he pleaded guilty to third-degree murder at the age of 17. He was convicted of strangling his foster mother, Doris Snyder, 60, in 1995. The archived media reports about his murder conviction say Serrano admitted to killing his foster mother because she grounded him and took his phone away after he had stayed out after his curfew.
The reports about the conviction state he had been placed in the foster care system by Northampton County. Snyder resided in Bucks County with her husband and seven foster children.
Kish reported he was aware of his criminal background.
“He was convicted as a juvenile but had no contact with police since then,” Kish said.
Kish said Serrano had stayed in his aunt’s Catasauqua apartment after helping her move in. She awakened that night to find Serrano on top of her, Kish said, and threatened to kill her if she screamed. According to a Catasauqua Police Department news release, the victim resisted but was overpowered by Serrano.
Following the attack, Serrano fled, and the woman called police immediately. A sexual assault examination at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Muhlenberg confirmed that a rape had occurred, Kish said.
While the alleged rape occurred May 23, charges were not filed until June 12.
During that time, the police chief said, “We had to do an investigation. We interviewed people, and we conferred with the district attorney’s office.
“We’ve gotten warrants now, and we are looking for help to apprehend him,” Kish said, adding police think it is likely he is in the Allentown area.
Serrano is charged with rape by forcible compulsion, aggravated indecent assault and indecent assault by forcible compulsion.
According to the police department news release, Serrano is 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighs 205 pounds. He has short black hair and brown eyes.
Anyone who sees Serrano should contact the police department in that jurisdiction.