Palmerton man charged with 2004 statutory sexual assault
A Palmerton man is being charged with statutory sexual assault for having a sexual relationship with a minor more than 10 years ago.
According to the affidavit of probable cause filed by trooper Nicolas De La Iglesia of the Pennsylvania State Police, Charles Kistler, 39, of Palmerton, started a relationship with the then 15-year-old victim in October 2004. Kistler was 24 years old at the time.
Kistler and the victim had sex on multiple occasions. State police in Lehighton received a report about their relationship in March 2005. The victim, who was then 16, told police the first time she and Kistler had sex, it was in his car parked on Fireline Road in Lower Towamensing Township. The victim didn’t want to bring charges against Kistler, as the two were still dating.
Then in April 2019, the victim — now an adult — wrote Pennsylvania State Police about her relationship with Kistler. She said that as an adult, she realized Kistler was wrong for having a sexual relationship with her when she was a minor, and she wanted to pursue a case against him.
In an interview with police on April 26, Kistler admitted to the relationship. Kistler is now a volunteer firefighter and a volunteer softball coach.
Kistler was arraigned at 4 p.m. Wednesday in front of Magisterial District Judge William J. Kissner. He was released on unsecured bail.