A 34-year-old man was sentenced to 12 years in prison after admitting he raped a 6-year-old girl and then gave the victim pocket change and told her not to tell her parents about what he had done to her, prosecutors said.
Jose Romero was sentenced following a guilty plea in April to a charge of rape in the first degree, the Suffolk County District Attorney said in a news release. His sentence will be followed by 10 years of post-release supervision and he will be required to register as a sex offender, officials said.
“Because of the bravery of this child, the defendant will go to prison where he cannot harm any other children,” District Attorney Raymond Tierney said in a statement. “Speaking out against an abuser, especially at such a young age, is a difficult task. However, it is a step that we encourage all those who are victims in Suffolk County to take so that we may keep our most vulnerable residents safe.”
Despite Romero’s attempt to conceal his crime, the child immediately disclosed the abuse to her parents, who contacted the police, prosecutors said.
The child was brought to the hospital where an examination would find DNA evidence linking Romero to the crime, authorities said.
Romero’s attorney, Chris Brocato, said in a statement to Law&Crime that his client is “remorseful to the victim of his actions.”
“He was a victim of sexual abuse as a child, and unfortunately, the cycle of abuse continued,” Brocato said.
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