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Pittston man sentenced for attempted rape of elderly woman | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey

Joshua Perez is escorted from the Luzerne County Courthouse Thursday after being sentenced for attempting to rape an elderly woman in 2019.
Ed Lewis | Times Leader

WILKES-BARRE — With repeated offenses of exposing himself to women and attempting to rape an elderly woman inside her home during a burglary, a Pittston man was deemed a violent sexual predator prior to being sentenced to up to three decades in state prison Thursday.

Luzerne County Judge David W. Lupas sentenced Joshua Perez, 29, to nine years, six months to 30 years in prison on charges of burglary and criminal attempt to commit rape. Perez pled guilty but mentally ill to the charges April 21.

Since Perez’s arrest by Exeter police on July 31, 2019, he had been admitted to a mental health hospital three times and recently declared his competency had been restored to face the charges.

Perez’s attorney, Attorney John H. Scanlon IV, said his client was aware of the sentencing hearing.

Assistant District Attorney Shana Messinger said Perez was confronted by the woman in her yard early in the morning. When she left her home hours later to feed stray cats, Perez entered her home and waited for the woman to return.

Perez used duct tape to bound her hands and fondled himself in front of her. He also attempted to rape her but forced her to perform a lewd act on him, Messinger said.

Messinger said Perez kept the woman hostage for three hours.

Prior to being sentenced, Lupas agreed with Paula Brust, a member of the state’s Sexual Offender Assessment Board, that Perez met the criteria as a violent sexual predator subject to lifetime registration under the state’s Sexual Offender Registration and Notification Act.

Brust testified her evaluation of Perez found he demonstrates exhibitionist and sexual predatorial behavior and has been exposing himself to women since 2012. Perez would also watch unsuspecting women through windows for sexual gratification, Brust testified.

“There is clear and convincing evidence he meets the criteria as a violent sexual predator,” Messinger argued.

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