‘Most Wanted’ man nabbed for child rape

09/30/2010 12:00 AM |

JosŽ Benigno Sanchez-Gonzalez

A 24-year-old man from El Salvador was arrested this week in Mastic Beach for allegedly raping a 6-year-old female relative several years ago in Riverhead, authorities said.

Josà Benigno Sanchez-Gonzalez, 24, of Aspen Drive in Mastic Beach was arrested at his home Tuesday and charged with first-degree rape and endangering the welfare of a child, police said. He had been featured on Riverhead’s Most Wanted poster for several months, police said.

The crime was first reported by the victim’s parents in October 2009, Riverhead Detective Sergeant Joseph Loggia said. It was not made clear how the victim, identified only as Y.G., is related to Mr. Sanchez-Gonzalez.

At his arraignment in Riverhead Justice Court Tuesday morning, Mr. Sanchez-Gonzalez, wearing a black and red shirt and jeans with his hands in cuffs behind his back, hung his head while answering Judge Allen Smith’s questions through a translator.

He told the judge he was not an American citizen and worked as a migrant worker. He said he had lived in New York State for the past eight years, though he did not have a permanent address.

Mr. Sanchez-Gonzalez surrendered his passport and El Salvador identification over to police. He pleaded not guilty and is being held at the Suffolk County Jail in Riverside on $100,000 cash bail. Judge Smith said the bail was set high because Mr. Sanchez-Gonzalez is a flight risk due to ties in El Salvador. He could face additional charges if indicted by a grand jury, Judge Smith said.

Mr. Sanchez-Gonzalez was arrested by town police at the home he shares with his girlfriend with help from members of the U.S. Marshal’s Regional Fugitive Task Force on a warrant from Riverhead Town, officials said.

Town police recently requested help in the case from the task force and an investigation led to Mr. Sanchez-Gonzalez’ arrest at his home without incident, police said.

“We had trouble locating him,” Det. Sgt Loggia said. “[But] the subject was known from the beginning.”

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