Pelham man charged with raping child

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

A 44-year-old Pelham man was arrested on May 9 and charged with sexually abusing a child younger than 12 and first-degree rape after police said he allegedly molested a child living in his residence.


Police arrested Javier Alberto de Hijar Cantabrana at his residence in Pelham’s Greenpark South mobile home park after another person living in the residence reported the alleged sexual abuse.

Pelham Police Lt. Pete Folmar said he could not release the victim’s age, but said the child was not related to Cantabrana. Folmar said both charges against Cantabrana stemmed from the same incident, and said the incident happened “fairly recently.”

After the arrest, Cantabrana was transported to the Shelby County Jail, where he is being held on bonds totaling $560,000.

According to Alabama law, first-degree rape occurs when a person, “being 16 years or older, engages in sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex who is less than 12 years old.” First-degree rape is a Class A felony.

Sexual abuse of a child younger than 12 occurs when a person 16 years old or older “subjects another person who is less than 12 years old to sexual contact.” Sexual abuse of a child younger than 12 is a Class B felony.

If convicted of the crimes, Cantabrana would face a minimum sentence of 30 years in prison.