In October 2021, Jose Romero, 34, sexually abused the child and then paid her to not tell her parents, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office said.
Instead, the girl immediately told her parents about the rape, and they contacted police. The victim was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital, where a sexual assault examination linked Romero’s DNA to the crime, prosecutors said.
“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.
Tierney added, “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.”
On April 12, Romero pleaded guilty to first-degree rape and he was ordered to be held without bail, officials said.
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He faces up to 12 years in prison plus 10 years of post-release supervision and has to register as a sex offender upon sentencing, according to authorities.
Romero is scheduled to be sentenced on May 12.
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