SALEM — A Salem man was arraigned in his hospital bed Wednesday afternoon, charged with raping a relative while she was living in his home in 2011.
Juan Encarnacion, 51, of 26 Prince St., Apt. 6, pleaded not guilty to charges of child rape and indecent assault and battery on a child. He was ordered held in custody on $100,000 bail by Salem District Court Judge Michael Lauranzano.
The arraignment came nearly two months after Encarnacion first learned that police were investigating the allegations, police say, and tried to kill himself.
Police said Encarnacion swallowed a heavy-duty drain cleaner. He was found, unconscious, near Dead Horse Beach on March 31, the day he was scheduled to meet with police.
An earlier meeting with police had been delayed after Encarnacion became ill at the police station and was taken to the hospital.
The allegations came to the attention of police earlier this year from officials at the girl’s school.
The girl subsequently told police that over about a 45-day period in the summer of 2011, while living in Encarnacion’s home, he repeatedly touched her inappropriately.
The girl said she would sometimes pretend to be asleep. In another incident, she began crying when Encarnacion made her touch him, she told police. She said he apologized but then warned her, “Don’t tell anyone.”
The girl, who was 12 at the time, told a friend what had happened, police said.
Because Encarnacion is now legally in the custody of the sheriff’s department, he was scheduled to be moved out of Salem Hospital to a state prison hospital to await trial.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at email@example.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.