A jury in Essex County Superior Court convicted a 59-year-old Belleville man of sexually assaulting a preteen girl while during multiple visits to his home, the Essex County Prosecutor's Office said.
Jose Santana assaulting the 9-year-old during multiple visits to Santana and his wife. He also forced her to watch child pornography, a charge corroborated by a search of Santana's home, where investigators found images and video on his computer.
“The victim, a brave little 9-year-old girl, found the courage and the strength to tell her mother, and the jury, how the defendant had violated her. The day she testified was the day she took back her dignity,” said Assistant Prosecutor Peter C. Polidoro, who tried the case with Assistant Prosecutor Tony Gutierrez.
Santana, who was found guilty of aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, possession of child pornography and endangering the welfare of a child, faces 25 years to life in prison when he's sentenced in January.
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