National Guard soldier charged after his DNA was found in the underwear of a fellow soldier

Pennsylvania Army National Guard Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 109th Field Artillery Regiment, conduct preventive maintenance checks and services on M1068 command post armored vehicles at Pabradė Training Center in Lithuania May 10. (Photo by Lt. Col. Rebecca Milkowski)

Ed Lewis

The Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

Aug. 12—WILKES-BARRE — A member of the 109th Field Artillery was arraigned Thursday on allegations he sexually assaulted a woman within the same unit.

Alejandro Velazco, 24, sexually assaulted the woman after she claimed she passed out following a night of drinking inside his South Empire Street, Wilkes-Barre, residence the night of Dec. 11 into Dec. 12, 2021, according to court records.

City police allege forensic evidence recovered from the woman’s underwear matched Velazco’s DNA profile.

Velazco was arraigned by District Judge Thomas Malloy in Wilkes-Barre on charges of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and sexual assault. He was released on $25,000 unsecured bail.

Police initiated an investigation when the woman was evaluated at Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre Medical Facility on Dec. 12.

According to the criminal complaint:

The woman told police she is a soldier in the Army National Guard, 109th Field Artillery, Battery C, in Kingston with Velazco.

Soldiers with Battery C conducted drill the weekend of Dec. 11.

After drill, Velazco invited the woman and two other soldiers to his residence to watch the Army-Navy football game. The woman told police because two other soldiers were going, she felt safe to accept Velazco’s invitation.

While inside the residence, the woman claimed she consumed several alcoholic drinks making her feel buzzed but not highly intoxicated.

Police in the complaint said it is common for soldiers to stay with other soldiers during drill weekends.

As the two other soldiers slept in a bedroom, the woman claimed she laid on a couch where Velazco began kissing her.

She told police she kept telling Velazco she was not interested and rolled her body resulting in Velazco kissing the back of her neck.

Police in the complaint say the woman reported she went into shock and did not have any memory of what transpired.

When she woke up, she noticed semen in her underwear that was inside-out, the complaint says.

During an interview with police, Velazco denied having sexual relations with the woman and denied masturbating near the woman as she slept, according to the complaint.

Police in the complaint say forensic evidence recovered from the woman’s underwear matched Velazco’s DNA profile.

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