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BETHLEHEM, Pa. | A Bethlehem man allegedly attacked by a woman last month after she accused him of kissing her young daughters is now facing criminal charges.

Authorities charged Eldis M. Rivera-Rodriguez with two misdemeanor counts of indecent assault of a person under the age of 13 in connection with the Jan. 2 incident inside an Atlantic Street home. District Judge Nancy Matos Gonzalez arraigned the 39-year-old Wednesday, setting bail at $7,500.

Bethlehem police said Shantika Briley, the girls’ mother, reported she was at her home in the 600 block of Atlantic Street on Jan. 2 with her two daughters and Rivera-Rodriguez. Briley told authorities that she was in the kitchen with Rivera-Rodriguez, who walked into the living room several times to interact with her daughters, according to court records.

Rivera-Rodriguez lives in the same block, according to records.

When Rivera-Rodriguez left the house to retrieve something from his own home, Briley said her daughters – ages 9 and 7 – approached her “crying and scared,” police said. They asked Briley not to let Rivera-Rodriguez back into their house because he allegedly licked their lips and kissed them.

A detective interviewed the girls separately and each accused Rivera-Rodriguez of licking and kissing them while touching their buttocks.

Bethlehem police initially charged Briley with assault after she allegedly attacked Rivera-Rodriguez with a metal pipe after learning he allegedly kissed her daughters. Authorities said the attack on Rivera-Rodriguez happened Jan. 1, but the criminal complaint filed against him indicated he allegedly assaulted the girls on Jan. 2. It was not immediately clear from records which day the incidents happened.

Rivera-Rodriguez failed to post bail following his arraignment and was sent to Northampton County Prison to await a preliminary hearing scheduled for March 3. Briley, meanwhile, was released on $25,000 unsecured bail last month and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on March 18.

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