Farmer charged with sexual assault

Bautista was working on local farm, police say

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  • Adrian Bautista Photo Provided by the sparta police department

— A local farm worker who is believed to be in the United States illegally was arrested Monday after police say he sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl on a Sparta farm.

According to the Sparta Police Department, 25-year-old Adrian Bautista engaged in sexual activity with the minor and led police on a chase before surrendering.

Bautista is charged with sexual assault of a minor and endangering the welfare of a child. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has placed a no bail detainer on him.

The alleged assault is believed to have occurred late Monday afternoon on the farm. According to police, Bautista entered the barn where the girl was working and engaged in sexual activity with the minor for 15 minutes.

After the assault, Bautista left the scene and the victim called an adult family member, who contacted police.

Police from Sparta, Hardyston, Hamburg and the state police set up a search for Bautista, making a perimeter on Rt. 94 from the Hardyston border to the Lafayette Township border.

A K-9 unit was also utilized to track the suspect.

Around 5:30 p.m., Bautista surrendered to police without incident. He was found approximately a mile and a half from the farm.

The victim was taken to the Newton Medical Center for treatment.

The investigation is considered ongoing and additional charges against Bautista are pending the outcome, police said.

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