JERSEY CITY – A New York man pleaded guilty to fourth degree sexual assault today in Hudson County Superior Court, 20 years after he groped his stepdaughter in Jersey City.
The defendant, 47, whose name is being withheld to protect the identity of the victim, admitted to intentionally touching the chest of his then 11-year-old stepdaughter for the purpose of shaming or degrading her inside their family home in Jersey City in December 1995.
The defendant admitted to using physical force and that he did not have the consent of the victim. He claimed that he was “playing around” but had the intention of “embarrassing” the victim.
The man was indicted in December 2012 on charges of aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, endangering the welfare of a child and child abuse, Hudson County First Deputy Assistant Prosecutor Debbie Simon said.
Simon added that the defendant waived the statute of limitation on the criminal sexual assault charge for the purposes of getting reduced charges.
The defendant was married to the victim’s mother from 1991 to 2000 and lived with the victim, her mother and her younger brother in Jersey City at the time.
The girl, now 31, alleged that there were several instances of sexual assault involving the touching of her chest between 1992 and 1995, but as part of the plea deal those previous instances were dismissed.
In an otherwise empty courtroom today, the defendant kept his head down for most of the hearing and only spoke when prompted by the judge.
The prosecuting attorney, Joseph Lanzot, recommended a probationary sentence with time served for the defendant as well as requiring that he register himself as a sex offender.
Sentencing is scheduled for March 13.