WILKES-BARRE — A shackled William Esser, wearing a yellow jumpsuit assigned to inmates facing sex-related offenses, complained at his arraignment Tuesday about his accommodations at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility.
Esser, 27, last known address as Darling Street, Wilkes-Barre, said he was placed in administrative protection and was unable to patronize the jail’s commissary for snack foods for 30 days.
City police detectives removed Esser from the county correctional facility on Tuesday and escorted him to District Judge Martin Kane’s office to be arraigned on charges of rape and sexual assault. Police allege Esser used a 4-year-old boy to gain the trust of a woman whom he lured on June 24 to the top floor of the James F. Conahan Intermodal Parking Garage where he raped her.
It was the second time authorities believe Esser sexually assaulted a woman while the boy was in his custody.
Hanover Township police allege Esser picked up a woman at Academy and South Main streets, Wilkes-Barre, and drove her to the Hanover Crossings Corporate Park where he forced her to perform a lewd sex act while the boy was in the back seat of his car on July 1.
Esser has been jailed at the county correctional facility for lack of $20,000 bail since his arrest by township police. Kane set bail on the latest charges at $50,000.
According to the criminal complaints:
A 20-year-old woman from Hanover Township told police she missed a Luzerne County Transportation Authority bus to Geisinger Medical Center for a doctor’s appointment. While rescheduling the appointment, she engaged in a conversation with Esser, who stood near her with a 4-year-old boy.
Esser asked the woman to go for a walk. She agreed, telling police she did not feel threatened because the boy was friendly.
Esser, after telling the boy to sit on the stairs, allegedly exposed himself to the woman and raped her on the top floor, the complaint states.
In the township incident, a woman said she was waiting under a business awning because it was raining and she could not get her umbrella to open. Esser was in a car with the boy in the back seat and offered the woman a ride. She asked to be taken to her son’s day care center or her mother’s place of employment on Hazle Avenue.
Esser drove her to Great Valley Boulevard in Hanover Crossings, parked at the dead-end and forced her to perform a sex act, according to the complaint. Esser is facing charges of sexual assault in county court involving the alleged incident in Hanover Township.
A preliminary hearing on the rape charge is scheduled on Sept. 5.