A New York man pleaded guilty on Thursday to raping a 6-year-old girl and giving her pocket change in an attempt to keep her quiet about the abuse. Jose Romero, 34, is scheduled to be sentenced on May 12.
“This defendant preyed upon the innocence and vulnerability of a young child to satisfy his own heinous desires,” Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney said. “Thankfully, she had the courage to come forward and testify in the Grand Jury so that the defendant could be brought to justice. This plea ensures that the young victim will not be re-victimized by being forced to face her abuser again in court.”
Citing the investigation and Romero’s plea allocution, prosecutors said he gave the child pocket change to keep her parents in the dark. Instead, the girl immediately told her parents about the rape. Those adults reached out to cops.
The 6-year-old was taken to Stonybrook University Hospital. A nurse found DNA evidence linking Romero to the crime, prosecutors said.
“On April 12, 2023, Romero pleaded guilty before County Court Judge, the Honorable Judge Karen M. Wilutis, to Rape in the First Degree, a Class B violent felony,” prosecutors said. “Judge Wilutis ordered Romero held without bail. Romero faces 12 years in prison plus 10 years of post-release supervision and be registered as a sex offender upon sentencing.”
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