LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — A Gaithersburg, Maryland, man is accused of driving roughly 600 miles to Elizabethtown to have sex with a 13-year-old girl he met online. According to an arrest warrant, the crimes took place between Dec. 28 and Jan. 1.
Kentucky State Police detectives said they were contacted by the mother of the victim on Jan. 2. Detectives interviewed the victim later that day at Hardin Memorial Hospital while she was there to undergo a sexual assault evidence collection kit. KSP Trooper Jeff Gregory said the victim’s mother did the right thing by contacting police as soon as she found out.
“She did exactly as she should have done,” Gregory said. “I can’t imagine, as a parent of four myself, how devastating that was to find out. I could’ve been a lot worse. We could have a missing girl right now. Or even worse than that.”
According to the arrest warrant, the girl told detectives at the hospital that she met 20-year-old Domenico Bucci, of Maryland, online two years ago. In late December, Bucci drove from his home in Maryland to the teen’s home in Elizabethtown. Police said, on Dec. 28, the teen snuck Bucci into her parents’ basement, where she hid him from her parents for “several days.”
The girl allegedly told police that she had “consensual sex” with Bucci on three occasions in his parked car in the Elizabethtown area. Police said she also admitted to engaging in a sex act on three occasions before the intercourse.
“They can say it’s consensual, but by statute, being 13 years of age, which is less than the legal 16 in Kentucky, it’s still statutory,” Gregory said.
The girl allegedly told police that Bucci knew she was 13 at the time.
On Jan. 2, police said they spoke with Bucci over the phone when he called KSP Post 4. According to the warrant, Bucci told police he was in Georgia at the time of the call but admitted to engaging in sexual relations with the teenager when he was in Elizabethtown.
A warrant was issued for his arrest on Jan. 10. Gregory said, on that same day, Bucci arrived to KSP Post 4 with his legal representation and turned himself in. He was taken into custody and transported to the Hardin County Detention Center.
Bucci is charged with three counts of second-degree rape and three counts of second-degree sodomy. He is being held on a $100,000 cash bond. He is to have no contact with the victim or with any children under the age of 18 without direct parental supervision.
Gregory said this case should be a warning to all parents to closely monitor their children.
“What we tell parents is to be nosy,” Gregor saidy. “Get in there and find out who they’re talking to online and on their computer and on their cellphones. Because in this day and age, with the internet the way it is, there’s not telling who someone says they are or not. And we end up having these kind of situations.”