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Man pleads guilty in abduction, sexual assault of girl

August 24, 2018

DOVER, Del. (AP) — A Delaware man accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a 4-year-old girl before throwing her into a pond is pleading guilty and facing at least 27 years in prison.

Twenty-four-year-old Daniel Santucci pleaded guilty Friday to attempted first-degree murder, kidnapping, and second-degree rape. He is scheduled for sentencing on Dec. 21.

Santucci entered the plea in advance of a trial scheduled to start next week.

Authorities say the girl was playing outside in the Plum Rum community in Pike Creek, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) west of Wilmington, in April 2017 when a man lured her into a car and drove off.

The girl was found about two hours later at a local park, where police say she had been thrown into a pond.

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