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Man arrested in Bay Shore charged in NJ sex assaults

Police said Craig Lassiter was charged with multiple

Police said Craig Lassiter was charged with multiple counts of aggravated sexual assault on a minor and other charges after a home invasion in New Jersey. Credit: New Jersey State Police

Police have filed additional charges against an Orange County man who was arrested in Bay Shore last month, accusing him of sexually assaulting two children during a home invasion in New Jersey, New Jersey State Police said.

Craig Lassiter, 33, of upstate Middletown, went into the bedroom of a home in Wantage Township, New Jersey, on Sept. 18 around 2 a.m., State Police said in a Facebook post on Sunday, and threatened the children with physical violence and told them he had a gun.

Lassiter then sexually assaulted them, police said, and left the home in a stolen Chevrolet Silverado. The minors reported the incident to family members, who searched the home and found that their front door was open.

State troopers responding to the homeowner’s 911 call, which originally only reported a burglary, tried to stop the Silverado. But when a trooper activated his vehicle’s emergency lights, Lassiter swerved the Silverado around the police car, ran over a mailbox and sped away, police said.

Authorities found the vehicle abandoned in a field and determined it had been stolen from New York, but Lassiter was gone, police said.

Lassiter, who was identified as a suspect through “various investigative means,” was arrested in Bay Shore on Sept. 22 on warrants that accused him of eluding and receiving stolen property, police said. He was extradited to New Jersey on Sept. 29.

On Wednesday, Lassiter was charged with additional offenses, including aggravated sexual assault on a minor less than 13 years old, aggravated sexual assault during the commission of a robbery and burglary, endangering the welfare of a child, criminal restraint and terroristic threats.

Lassiter remained in the Sussex County Jail in New Jersey on Sunday, police said.

The New Jersey State Police, New York State Police, Nassau and Suffolk county police, and Middletown City police departments participated in the investigation.

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