Recently, a 32-year-old man who allegedly raped a 7-year-old girl on Staten Island was apprehended and arrested by police in New Jersey. The girl was reportedly raped sometime prior to 2:45 a.m. on August 6 at her home.
According to news reports, Daniel Nieto entered the home where the young girl lived through an unlocked door, then sexually assaulted the victim. Ironically, Nieto had been arrested for criminal trespass for hanging out in a vacant home just a short time following the sexual assault, although police were not aware the rape had occurred. After being charged with criminal trespass, Nieto was released. It would take police 12 days to find Nieto and arrest him in connection with the rape.
Ultimately, police caught Nieto in East Brunswick, NJ and took him into custody on Tuesday, August 18. At last news reports, charges against him were pending as the suspect is being extradited to Staten Island to face charges.
The young victim told her parents about the attack, which police say was random. Nieto had no apparent connection to the family.
In New York, sexual assault of any child younger than 11 years old is first-degree rape; all statutory rape charges are considered very serious sexual felonies. Across the U.S., including in Michigan, the sexual assault of a young child is a very serious criminal offense. In fact, in many states those found guilty of sexually assaulting or raping a child who is under the age of consent will face decades in prison, possibly even life behind bars.
In Michigan, statutory rape or third-degree criminal sexual conduct may result in a 15 year prison term for those convicted. However, a more serious offense is first-degree criminal sexual conduct, a charge that may leave the defendant facing life in prison. When sexual penetration occurs and the victim is younger than 13, an individual may face first-degree CSC charges.
Regardless, the criminal penalties are extremely harsh for those found guilty. In addition, those labeled ‘sex offenders’ are stigmatized by society, and have many obstacles to face when it comes to employment, housing, and more. Many innocent people are accused of sexually assaulting children, who can easily be coerced into saying things that are not true. If you have been accused of sexual assault or any sex-related offense, do not hesitate before contacting a capable and skilled Michigan sex crimes attorney.