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Leonia man charged with molesting girl has sex crimes history

Photo Credit: Courtesy BERGEN COUNTY PROSECUTOR

EXCLUSIVE REPORT: A Leonia construction worker charged with molesting a 16-year-old girl in his van after offering her a ride earlier this month has a history of sex crimes, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned.

According to court records, 48-year-old Wilfredo Arias has three prior convictions, two involving crimes against children.

Three years ago, he accepted a plea to fourth-degree lewdness after originally being charged with second-degree sexual contact with a 7-year old Little Ferry girl.

For that, he was sentenced last November to 180 days in the Bergen County Jail, followed by three years of probation. He was released on April 8, records show.

In 2001, Arias was indicted on charges of sexually assaulting another Little Ferry girl when she was 9 and 10 years old.

Jurors convicted him of sexual assault and acquitted him of child endangerment following a trial a year later.

That verdict was set aside on appeal, however, and Arias later pleaded guilty to fourth-degree lewdness.

He was sentenced to time served and released, records show.

This past July 4, authorities charged Arias with sexual assault through force or coercion with no serious injuries to the victim. The case was referred to a grand jury in Hackensack for possible indictment.

Authorities at the time said the girl called 911 after she managed to break free while Arias was molesting her in his vehicle.

Two weeks later, Arias posted $250,000 bail — halved from the original $500,000 — and was released.

MUGSHOT: Courtesy BERGEN COUNTY PROSECUTOR

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