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Fayette man accused of having sex with teen

A Fayette County man charged with a fatal arson in Fairchance was back in court this week, this time accused of having sex with a teenager.

Richard A. Saluga, 29, of 520 Independence St., Uniontown, was charged with statutory sexual assault and corruption of minors for allegedly having sex twice with a 14-year-old girl.

According to state police at Uniontown, Saluga admitted during questioning that the acts occurred between July 1 and Aug. 31.

He faces a preliminary hearing Oct. 28 before Fairchance District Justice Randy Abraham.

Saluga remains in the Fayette County Prison without bond in connection with the Sept. 14 fire death of W. Ernest Mason, 76.

Police state in court papers that Saluga set fire to an apartment building in Fairchance in an attempt to kill his estranged wife, Jane Saluga.

While 11 people escaped, including Jane Saluga and her four children, Mason died of acute smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Saluga faces charges of homicide, arson and reckless endangerment.

According to police, Saluga discussed setting the 5 a.m. fire with a juvenile both before and after it occurred.

Saluga was accused of violating a seven-year term of probation after pleading guilty to tearing the esophagus and bruising the genitals of a 2-month-old boy in 1993.

Court papers filed in the case state that Saluga was suspected of sexually assaulting the child, but blood tests on the evidence were inconclusive.

He told police he may have inadvertently left a pen in the boy’s crib, or could have injured the child while letting him suck on his finger. He offered no explanation for the injury to the child’s genitals.

Saluga pleaded guilty to simple assault and endangering the welfare of children, and finished serving his term of probation in 2001. Judge John F. Wagner Jr. refused to jail Saluga after he pleaded guilty to furnishing liquor to minors in 1996.

The judge did, however, order him to seek treatment for an admitted alcohol problem.


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