WEST CHESTER, PA — A Chester County jury has convicted Cristian Gasca, a 28-year-old man from Kennett Square, PA, of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, unlawful contact with minors, statutory sexual assault, and related charges. The conviction, announced on December 6, 2023, came after Gasca met a 15-year-old girl on Snapchat, persuaded her to run away from her Maryland home, and sexually assaulted her at his residence. A sentencing date has yet to be set.
Chester County District Attorney Deb Ryan expressed her concern over the case, stating, “The defendant preyed upon a young victim online by grooming her and convincing her to run away from the safety of her home. This is another example of the dangers of online predators.”
On April 23, 2022, the Kennett Square Township Police Department was asked by the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office to check a residence on the 200 Block of Boulder Way in search of a missing 15-year-old. Upon their arrival, Gasca initially denied any knowledge of the missing girl. However, during the conversation, a family member of Gasca appeared with the missing teenager. She was then transported to the Kennett Square Police Department to be reunited with her family.
The victim revealed that she had met Gasca on Snapchat earlier in April after he sent her a friend request. Despite telling him that she was only 15-years-old, Gasca convinced her to leave her home to be with him in Pennsylvania. The victim reported that they had sexual intercourse between April 20-23, 2022. Afterward, she was taken to Nemours Children’s Hospital in Wilmington, Delaware for care.
The case was investigated by the Kennett Square Township Police Department, with ADA Zachary Yurick assigned as the prosecutor. The PA Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC), which provides resources for investigations relating to child exploitation on the internet, also played a role in the case.
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