A Passaic man was sentenced to 37 years in prison for sexually abusing a young child over the course of three years.
Gabriel Sunuc, 31, had rejected a deal from prosecutors, opting instead for a jury trial.
The case presented to jurors in Paterson by Assistant Passaic County Prosecutor Alyssa DiSturco last fall included live testimony from the victim, the victim’s friend, mother and brother, a New Jersey State Police forensic scientist a detective from her office’s Special Victims Unit.
The jury, in turn, convicted Sunuc of several aggravated sexual assault and sexual assault charges, as well as a trio of child endangerment counts.
It all began when the child, then 14, dialed 911 in August 2018 to report the abuse, Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes said.
After being alerted by Passaic police, detectives from the prosecutor’s office interviewed multiple witnesses, including the child, Valdes said.
“The child reported being sexually abused by (Sunuc) on multiple occasions between March 2015 and August 2018 at various residences in Passaic,” she said.
The sentence handed down by Superior Court Judge Marybel Ramirez last Friday, May 13, in addition to the prison term, also subjects Sunuc to lifetime parole supervision and Megan’s Law registration.
Sunuc will remain held at the Passaic County Jail until he’s assigned to a secure state facility to serve out his sentence.
Because of the severity of the crimes, he also must submit to a psychiatric examination at the Adult Diagnostic Psychiatric Center in Avenel.
The evaluation determines whether Sunuc is a “repetitive and compulsive” offender who must undergo sex offender-specific therapy/treatment. Another evaluation once the sentence is served could keep him civilly committed for an indefinite period of time after that.
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