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Prosecutors cite girl’s diagnosis in case against alleged rapist

By Ed Lewis,


WILKES-BARRE — Prosecutors in the case of sexual assault suspect Bryan Nee are relying upon a sexually transmitted disease a girl contracted when she allegedly was assaulted by Nee inside a Wilkes-Barre home.

Nee, 32, was diagnosed as having HSV-1 and HSV-2 herpes as the girl, then 5, was discovered to have the HSV-2 virus, according to evidence presented by assistant district attorneys Carly Hislop and John Carroll on Thursday.

Nee is facing a Luzerne County jury in a trial before Judge David W. Lupas on charges of rape of a child, unlawful contact with a minor, indecent assault and corruption of minors.

Wilkes-Barre police Det. Michael McGrath arrested Nee in January 2022 after the girl was questioned by a forensic interviewer at the Luzerne County Children’s Advocacy Center.

When the girl was called to testify by Hislop and Carroll, she walked into the courtroom with a stuffed rabbit. Lupas cleared the courtroom, including the jury, to quiz the girl about knowing the difference between telling the truth and telling a lie.

The judge permitted the girl to testify, saying she saw Nee without pants.

Hislop and Carroll played the recording of the girl’s interview at the Children’s Advocacy Center to the jury. The girl at first said “nothing happened” but nearly 30 minutes into the recording, she told the forensic interviewer Nee took baths with her and told her to keep a secret.

Nee’s attorney, Daniel K. Hunter, asked the girl if she kept secrets, as she said she never had a secret with Nee.

The girl’s mother said she took her daughter to an urgent care facility, initially believing her daughter had a rash. After medical testing, the rash turned out to be herpes, a practical nurse testified.

The mother said she did not believe the accusations at first, but when she saw a behavioral change in her daughter, she came to realize her daughter was telling the truth about being assaulted.

McGrath said his investigation revealed Nee was positive for the two herpes viruses.

Nee’s stepfather and live-in girlfriend, called by Hunter as character witnesses, said Nee was always at work and was never alone with the girl.

Closing arguments are scheduled for Friday.

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