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Child rapist who triggered manhunt in New Hope, Solebury gets 10-20 years

A Lower Southampton man who sparked a manhunt through New Hope and Solebury last year will serve up to 20 years in state prison after admitting to sexually abusing two children.

David Allen Hamilton, 48, pleaded guilty Tuesday to rape of a child, statutory sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and related counts stemming from the repeated abuse of the children over a few years. Hamilton began abusing his victims, now teenagers, when they were just 9 years old.

Judge C. Theodore Fritsch accepted Hamilton’s negotiated plea, and imposed the agreed-upon sentence of 10 to 20 years behind bars, followed by a 10-year term of probation.

Hamilton has been incarcerated since late September 2018 when he was captured by the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force. His arrest in Aston, Delaware County, came at the end of a manhunt that lasted close to 10 days. Shortly after the sexual abuse charges were filed on Sept. 19, 2018, Hamilton encountered police officers in New Hope, resisted their efforts to detain him, and fled into the woods.

Hamilton, a former Army scout, later fled in a stolen car from a Solebury Township residence where he was hiding in the basement. Hamilton also entered guilty pleas to crimes stemming from those incidents, including flight to avoid apprehension and conspiracy to commit theft.

Meredith Custodio, a home health aid who helped hide Hamilton in the Solebury home where she was assisting a resident, will be sentenced next week.

These cases were investigated by the Lower Southampton Township Police Department, Solebury Township Police Department and New Hope Borough Police Department, and prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Kristin M. McElroy.


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Charlie Sahner

“Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy." - Einstein

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