A South Haven man
has been charged with two counts of child molesting and one of rape, after
the friend of his niece accused him of several instances of intimate contact
with her between May 2015 and September 2016.
52, of 756 Juniper Road, was charged last week, according to documents
released by the Porter County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
According to the
probable cause affidavit filed by the Porter County Sheriff’s Police, in
January the girl’s father contacted the PCSP after his daughter told him
that Santiago had had sexual contact with her on multiple occasions. In a
subsequent interview with an investigator, the girl recalled a specific
instance in the summer of 2015 when she spent the night at the home of her
friend, Santiago’s niece, at which time he took her to a spare bedroom and
performed a sex act on her, the affidavit stated.
Later the same
summer, the girl advised, Santiago invited her to visit his house, saying
that his niece was going to be there. Santiago then picked her up and
brought her to his residence--where the girl found that neither Santiago’s
niece nor his wife was present--and then again forced himself on her, the
The girl told
investigators that she “ultimately complied” with Santiago’s instruction to
“undress” because “she was fearful that refusal would result in the
termination of her being friends” with Santiago’s niece.
Santiago is charged
with one count of Level 1 child molesting, punishable by a term of 20 to 40
years; one count of Level 3 rape, punishable by a term of three to 16 years;
and one count of Level 4 child molesting, punishable by a term of two to 12