A 33-year-old Flanders man was found guilty by a jury for for sexually abusing, and attempting to rape, his nine-year-old niece.
On December 19, 2021, the victim, who was nine years old at the time, was left sleeping at her home while her parents took the family dog to the veterinarian. The victim’s uncle, the defendant, rented a room in the same house where the victim and her family resided. While the victim’s parents were out of the home, the defendant entered the child’s room and asked her if she wanted her back scratched. (The District Attorney’s Office is not naming the defendant to protect the identity of the child victim.) When the child responded that she did, the defendant led the victim into his bedroom and, after briefly scratching her back, began to sexually abuse her.
When the victim’s parents arrived home shortly thereafter, the victim told them what the defendant had done. They took the victim to the Peconic Bay Medical Center where she had a sexual assault forensic examination. Her undergarments were collected and tested, revealing the presence of the defendant’s DNA. The defendant was then arrested by the Southampton Police Department.
On January 23, 2024, the defendant was found guilty of the following charges after a jury trial heard before Supreme Court Judge Timothy P. Mazzei:
- first-degree attempted rape, a Class C violent felony
- first-degree sexual abuse, a Class D violent felony
- endangering the welfare of a child, a Class A misdemeanor
The defendant is due back in court for sentencing on February 27, 2024, and faces up to 15 years in prison and 15 years of post-release supervision.
“This defendant took advantage of the innocence of his young niece while her parents were momentarily out of the house. I thank the jury for their verdict of guilt, which ensures that the defendant will be held accountable for his vile crime,” said Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney. “We recognize the great difficulty that sexual assault victims face in coming forward, especially minors, so my office is equipped with specially trained prosecutors, victim advocates, and a facility dog who are dedicated to helping seek justice in these cases.”