Update: Man Extradited Back To U.S. After Sexually Abusing Girl, 6, Was Defrocked Priest: DA BREAKING: The priest was also a registered sex offender, arrested at JFK after being found by Interpol, the DA said.Lisa Finn (Patch Staff) - April 24, 2017
A former church pastor recently convicted of molesting a six-year-old girl was sentenced to seven years in prison Monday, the Queens District Attorney announced.
James Love was found guilty of sexually assaulting the young child, who was a ward at his wife’s Woodlawn day care, earlier this month.
Love, the former pastor of New Mount Zion Baptist Church in Harlem, sexually assaulted the little girl numerous times over the period of a year from June 2015 to June 2016, prosecutors said.
The now-seven-year-old bravely testified against Love during the ten-day trial.
The 46-year-old fallen man of God must also register as a sex offender.
“The victim’s mother dropped off the youngster at a trusted babysitter’s home, she had every expectation that her daughter would be cared for and protected,” Queens DA Richard Brown said in a statement. “Instead the husband of the sitter took advantage of the girl’s proximity and repeatedly violated her for his own sexual gratification.”
Defense attorney Todd Spodek called his client’s conviction “a perfect example of the uphill battle victims of false allegations of sexual abuse face at trial, and ultimately at sentencing.”
Spodek added that he and Love were in the process of reviewing appellate options.
A former high school coach and youth minister who was arrested on suspicion of child sexual abuse in March now faces additional charges after more alleged victims have come forward.
Charlie Hamrick, 54, of Pensacola, was arrested for molesting children over a span of two decades while in various positions of power. The latest charges filed Monday brought five more charges against Hamrick — three counts of lewd and lascivious molestation and two counts of unlicensed practice of medicine.
The new charges were filed when additional victims came forward after Hamrick’s initial arrest, according to a news release from State Attorney Bill Eddins and Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan.
Hamrick already faces two counts of lewd and lascivious molestation, one count of giving obscene material to a minor, one count of organized fraud and six counts of sexual battery on a child under the age of 12.
Hamrick’s attorney Kim Skievaski said in a recent statement that his client denies the claims and will fight the charges.
Sheriff's Office investigator Dawn Janes said earlier this month that victims told police that during Hamrick's time at Tate High School, he gave unlicensed physicals, which included a genital examination.
Escambia County School District Superintendent Malcolm Thomas has previously said the district completed a background check on Hamrick before he was hired and the check came back clean.
Thomas has said Hamrick only had contact with football players and was not around the facility during school hours.
Hamrick worked as a supplemental football coach for Tate High, as a volunteer at Harvest Christian Center and as a youth minister at Pine Forest United Methodist Church.
Two of the first victims who came forward said Hamrick molested them at his home after he invited them to fish and ride four-wheelers at his property, according to police.
The third victim in the initial round of charges claimed to have been molested under similar circumstances in 1997 when playing at Hamrick's home with his children, who were roughly the same age.
DEPTFORD TWP. -- A registered sex offender repeatedly assaulted a child in his care over a 14-month period and the abuse included use of whips and a neck tie as forms of sexual punishment, according to criminal complaints.
Gabriel Torres, 42, and girlfriend Mary B. Giannone, 51, a pediatric medical assistant, share an address on Concord Avenue in Deptford and both are accused of assaulting the girl when she was under the age of 13.
Authorities have not said how they are related to the victim, but both are described in the complaint as having responsibility for the care of the victim.
Torres, who is registered as a sex offender in North Carolina, is charged with aggravated sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child between October 2015 and December 2016.
Giannone is charged with sexual assault by contact and endangering the welfare of a child on Oct. 14, 2015.
In addition to repeated sexual assaults by Torres, the victim told authorities that she viewed child pornography on Torres' cellphone.
She also told investigators that Giannone "committed an act of sexual contact upon her while they played spin the bottle at the defendant's residence," according to the criminal complaint.
Torres, who formerly lived in North Carolina, was required to register as a sex offender following his 2010 conviction in Tennessee on a charge of sexual exploitation of a minor.
In 2006, a Tennessee rental business found more than 400 child pornography images on a computer Torres had rented, according to a TV news report. He fled before police could arrest him and remained on the loose until 2009 when he was found living in North Carolina.
Torres was sentenced to six years in prison, but was released in May 2014. His North Carolina sex offender registry page indicates that he now lives in New Jersey.
Torres was working as a driver for a ceiling business at the time of his latest arrest, according to the Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office.
Giannone worked as a medical assistant for Advocare Marlton Pediatrics for about a year, but was terminated in February for performance reasons, according to Chuck McQueary, chief operating officer for Advocare.
Her firing was unrelated to these allegations, he said, but since learning of the charges, the company has sent out an email to employees asking them to report any odd behavior they may have witnessed involving Giannone. That information would then be reported to police, McQueary said.
Torres and Giannone remain jailed in Salem County Correctional Facility.
ROCKAWAY TWP. -- A Rockaway Township police officer was arrested and charged with sexually assaulting two teenage girls, authorities said.
Officer Wilfredo Guzman, 40, of Rockaway Township, is being held in the Morris County jail, according to a joint statement from Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp and Rockaway Township Police Chief Martin McParland Jr.
The two second-degree sexual assault charges against Guzman stem from his involvement with two teenage girls in 2014 and 2015. One girl was between the ages of 16 and 17 and the other was 15, authorities said.
Guzman provided both girls with alcohol and prescription medication and "engaged in acts of sexual penetration," Knapp and McParland said.
In addition to sexual assault, Guzman is charged with two counts of third-degree endangering the welfare of a child.
Guzman has been a police officer in Rockaway Township since 2003, prosecutor's office spokesman Fred Snowflack said.
He is paid $111,980 annually, according to public records.