Police: Man charged in assault of woman with special needs

john phillip peterson

A Middletown man sexually assaulted a Borough woman with special needs, and then told her “Don’t tell anyone, it’s our secret,” Borough police allege.

John Philip Peterson, 43, of Genesis Court, raped and assaulted the woman in July 2013 in her residence in the Borough, court documents state. Despite Peterson telling her to keep the incident a secret, the victim complained to her mother, who then notified Middletown Police. Detectives from the Department’s Criminal Investigations Section recovered various items of evidence from the scene, including items that were later confirmed by the Pennsylvania State Police crime lab to contain potential DNA evidence.

Peterson, who is currently being held in Dauphin County Prison on unrelated charges, is scheduled to be arraigned via video today on charges of Rape, Rape of a Mentally Disabled Person, Indecent Assault, Indecent Assault – Mental Disability, Sexual Assault, and Indecent Assault – Without Consent.

Middletown Police Chief Steven Wheeler thanks the Pennsylvania State Police crime lab for its assistance with the case.   The case will be prosecuted in the Dauphin County court system by District Attorney Ed Marsico’s office.