Child-rape suspect assigned a lawyer

FITCHBURG - The pretrial hearing for a Fitchburg man who allegedly raped a girl under age 13 and then told her he would buy her an iPod and sneakers if she kept quiet was continued in Fitchburg District Court yesterday.

Cesar N. Santiago, 36, 342 Townsend St., is charged with rape of a child and indecent assault and battery on child under 13. He raped a girl on the floor of her mother's bedroom on Nov. 7 while her mother was at work, court documents said.

Mr. Santiago told the girl if she told anyone and he went to jail, her brother and sister would be homeless, court documents said. He allegedly asked her to tell people a boy at school raped her if she was questioned.

The alleged incident was reported to police by the girl's cousins on Nov. 12, court documents said, after they took her to the doctor's for a rash she developed after the alleged rape. Testing concluded she had contracted a sexually transmitted disease, court documents said.

Mr. Santiago was assigned a lawyer yesterday. His hearing was continued to Dec. 16.


Robbery suspect had distinctive blue eyes

GARDNER - The Family Dollar on West Street was robbed last night.

Police said that around 5:35 p.m., officers went to the store for reports of an armed robbery. Police said the suspect entered the store, showed a small black handgun, and demanded money. He left with an undetermined amount of cash.

Police described the suspect as white, unshaven, 6 feet to 6 feet 1 inch tall, with light blue eyes that were described by police as very distinctive. He had a slender build, and wore a gray hooded winter jacket with baggy blue jeans and white sneakers.

Gardner police were assisted at the scene by Westminster's police canine unit. Anyone with information is asked to call police at (978) 632-5600.


Gunshot suspect leaves court in ambulance

SPENCER - A 36-year-old man being arraigned on firearms charges had to be taken from the courthouse by ambulance after he appeared to be too intoxicated to take part in the proceedings.

Jason W. Masiello of 35 Pine Acres was arrested after police received "numerous calls" of gunshots at his home Monday morning. Sgt. George Edwards said he found Mr. Masiello standing in his driveway, his hands behind his head, fingers laced. Police also found several shotgun shells on Mr. Masiello's bedroom floor, Sgt. Agnew wrote in his report.

Mr. Masiello was arrested and charged with...

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