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Man who repeatedly raped Edgewater girl, 12, gets dozen years in prison

Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter
Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter
Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter

ONLY ON CVP: A judge in Hackensack reluctantly sentenced a Haledon man to a dozen years in state prison yesterday for repeatedly raping a 12-year-old Edgewater girl — giving the youngster a mild heart attack.

Miguel Crespo said he spied the 100-pound, four-foot girl alone downtown in March 2012 and offered her a ride.

She accepted and was driven to his Haledon apartment, where Crespo admitted giving her a cocktail of drugs and alcohol and then raping her several times.

He then refused to return her home until the next morning, telling her frantic mother on the phone that he was a good Samaritan cab driver taking her home.

The girl ended up having a mild heart attack, brought on by the combination of Ecstasy, cocaine and alcohol. Until then, no one was aware of her pre-existing heart condition.

“It breaks my heart when I see how broken and hurt and alone my daughter is,” her mother told Superior Court Judge James J. Guida in Hackensack yesterday.

“She feels guilty and ashamed. She keeps her ordeal a secret,” her mother said. “She can’t have friends.”

Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Marybel Mercado Ramirez (STORY / PHOTOS: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter)

“It will be a long time before she gets over these events, and recovers her happiness. She will never recover her innocence and her childhood.”

The girl — who she said she adopted the girl from China when she was two — has also suffered physically, the woman said.

In addition to the heart attack, she had to be treated with HIV drugs for more than a month, her mother said. The medications compromised her liver and her kidneys, she added.

Crespo continues to be delusional about the crimes, saying the girl told him she was 16 and that she was the sexual aggressor, Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Marybel Mercado Ramirez told the judge.

Crespo also has a history of preying on vulnerable targets, she said.

“He knows these young girls have many issues. They are still trying to decide who they are,” Ramirez said. “It’s pretty clear he zeroed in on what she was feeling and took advantage of it.”

Crespo could have been sent to prison for as much as 40 years had he been found guilty at a trial.

He cut a plea deal with prosecutors instead — and will be eligible for parole in a little oer 10 years.

This didn’t please the judge.

“I am still reluctant, based on the offense itself — weighing the seriousness of the harm to the victim, not just the sexual but the psychological harm, the fact she suffered a heart attack as a result of the physical abuse,” Guida said.

“And, based on your record, there is almost 100% certainty of another offense,” he told Crespo. “You have a history of lewdness and sexual assaults in multiple states. You admit you are a compulsive offender.”

The girl’s mother didn’t want to go trial, however.

Superior Court Judge James J. Guida (STORY / PHOTOS: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter)

“My daughter is not well enough to be in this courtroom,” she told the judge.

Given that, as well as the fact that the outcome of a trial “is never a certain thing,” Guida said he had no choice but the accept the terms of the plea deal.

In addition to the prison sentence, which might be served at the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Avenel, Crespo will be on parole supervision for life under Megan’s Law, he said.

He also must register as a sex offender and have no contact with the victim, Guida ruled.

STORY / PHOTOS: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter

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