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November 13, 2002

Man Charged With Raping 10-Year-Old

Nov. 13, 2002

Victim Was Hearing-Impaired Girl

BOSTON -- Prosecutors say a 10-year-old deaf girl was raped in the same Somerville, Mass., neighborhood where two other deaf girls were raped last month.

Investigators say the cases appear to be unrelated.

Jesus Arbaiza, 21, was arrested in connection with the more recent incident. He pleaded not guilty Tuesday to rape and kidnap charges in Somerville District Court, and was ordered held on $10,000 bail.

Defense attorney Michael Brennan said his client told him that the girl came to his apartment Saturday night, but that he -- Arbaiza -- told her that she should leave.

Two weeks ago, three reputed members of a Salvadoran gang were charged with raping two girls 14- and 17-years-old in a city park. Both alleged victims are deaf and one has cerebral palsy.

Arbaiza is also of Salvadoran descent, but prosecutors said there is no evidence he was a member of the gang.

Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.