A 41-year-old Northern Westchester man will spend more than a decade behind bars and register as a sex offender after he admitted to sexually abusing a girl under the age of 13.
Bedford Hills resident Julio Cortez was sentenced on Wednesday, Sept. 30 to 12 years in prison, followed by 15 years of post-release supervision after Cortez pleaded guilty in Westchester County Court to first-degree course of sexual conduct against a child last year.
Upon his release, Cortez will also have to register as a sex offender.
In October 2018, the Bedford Police Department received a phone call from a teenage girl who said that her classmate was being sexually abused, Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino, Jr. said.
The call came after the teen had been on a FaceTime video chat with her friend and saw an adult who was not part of her family, in the room with her friend.
Later, when the teen inquired who he was, the victim revealed to her friend that the man was a neighbor who had been sexually abusing her for years when her parents were not home.
Scarpino said the child victim was eventually interviewed at the Children's Advocacy Center, leading to an interview with Cortez, who confessed to having a sexual relationship with the teen.
Cortez was initially charged with second-degree rape, though he was indicted on felony charges of first-degree course of sexual conduct against a child and first-degree disseminating indecent material to a minor, and misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child and second-degree criminal contempt before accepting a plea agreement.
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