Police: Woman had sex with 14-year-old boy

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BENNINGTON — A 21-year-old Minnesota woman is being held without bail and faces felony charges after police arrested her for allegedly having sex with a 14-year-old boy.

Police were investigating Rosa Maria Pastrana, of Staples, Minn. for allegedly exchanging sexually explicit messages and photos with the boy when, this week, they learned she came to Vermont and had sexual contact with the boy.

Pastrana pleaded not guilty in Vermont Superior Court Bennington Criminal Division on Thursday on single felony counts each of repeated aggravated sexual assault; sexual assault on a victim less than 16 years old; attempted luring of a child for sexual exploitation; and lewd and lascivious conduct with a child. A charge of lewd and lascivious conduct carries a minimum sentence of two years. The aggravated sexual assault charge carries a maximum punishment of life in jail.

Bennington Police Detective Anthony Silvestro, investigator with the Bennington County Special Investigations Unit, wrote in an affidavit that Rosa told him she learned about the boy's age early on in their conversation, and that the boy knew her age as well. Pastrana spoke about wanting to meet up with the boy, who lives in Bennington County, and renting a local hotel room.

"Rosa acknowledged it was wrong and that he was too young," he wrote. "Rosa wanted to tell us that she really does care about (the boy) and is not some predator just trying to get him."

The boy's mother had contacted police on Dec. 12 and said she was concerned upon learning her son was having an online relationship with a woman claiming to be 21. In a Dec. 15 interview with Silvestro and a Department of Children and Family Services investigator, the boy stated he and Pastrana had exchanged explicit photos of each other, according to the affidavit.

Silvestro wrote that on Wednesday morning, the mother called him and said her son wasn't in his room. An hour later, she called again and said she found her son with Pastrana in a car parked on a side road, and that when Pastrana told her she was in love with the boy, she took her son and left. Police later found the car at hotel on Route 7A in Manchester.

In an interview with investigators, Pastrana said she had taken the boy to her hotel room. She denied the contact went farther than kissing and some touching, but then said they should ask the boy.

Silvestro and the DCF investigator met with the boy for a second interview at the Bennington County Child Advocacy Center. The boy told them he had been in contact with Pastrana after the initial interview, and that she had arrived in Vermont sometime after Dec. 25. The boy said Pastrana took him to her hotel room and that they had sexual contact "on multiple occasions," according to the affidavit.

Judge John W. Valente agreed to the state's request that Pastrana be held without bail. She's scheduled to return to court Jan. 24 for a weight of evidence hearing, during which the court will determine what, if any, conditions she can be released on that ensure she will appear at future hearings.

Pastrana was ordered to not have contact with the boy from the case, or anyone younger than 16. She is lodged at the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility.

Reach Edward Damon at 802-447-7567, ext. 111 or @edamon_banner.


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