ONLY ON CVP: A Guatemalan immigrant living illegally in Fairview was sentenced yesterday to eight years in state prison for the sexual assault of his girlfriend’s developmentally disabled daughter when she was less than 12 years old.
Jose C. Juarez-Roca, 49, asked for mercy.
“I would like you to consider that I am a father in my country,” he told Superior Court Judge Edward A. Jerejian through an interpreter. “So if you could reduce the sentence because of that, and if it were possible if you could send me to Avenel….”
Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Marybel Mercado Ramirez insisted that Juarez-Roca didn’t deserve mercy.
“He only got his [plea] deal because of the condition of my victim,” she said.
Juarez-Roca cared for the girl so that he could prey on her, Ramirez told the judge.
“He thought no one would believe her,” she said.
Although Juarez-Roca claimed he touched the girl “by accident,” the prosecutor said the attacks occurred over a period of time.
“Now we find he has children in Guatemala who he left to come here,” she said.
Jerejian expressed concern that Juarez-Roca, despite pleading guilty, told investigators at the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Avenel and a member of the Bergen County Probation Department that he was innocent.
“Because the assaults occurred over a period of time, and because of his denials and statements, I have to conclude he is a risk of another offense,” the judge said.
“There is a strong need to deter this kind of conduct, the assault of a 10-year old child with handicaps,” he added. He assaulted her physically and sexually, and he tried to slant it as some kind of affection.”
Juarez-Roca pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree aggravated sexual assault. In return for his plea, four second-degree charges, including impairing or debauching the morals of a child, were dismissed.
Juarez-Roca, who has lived in the U.S. since 1999 despite not being a legal resident, will be deported after serving a mandatory six years and eight months of his sentence in state prison.
He didn’t qualify for Avenel as a compulsive and repetitive offender.
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