Contact Us
Hackensack Daily Voice serves Hackensack, Maywood, Rochelle Park & South Hackensack
Return to your home site

Menu

Hackensack Daily Voice serves Hackensack, Maywood, Rochelle Park & South Hackensack

Nearby Towns

DV Pilot police & fire

Delays continue in cold-case Cliffside Park rape, Fairview child sex assault

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

ONLY ON CVP: One of the oldest cases in Bergen County’s criminal courts — that of a Fairview man for two cold-case sex assaults — has been postponed yet again.

Busy schedules for both Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Demtra Maurice and defense attorney Brian Neary have contributed to the delays in the trial of Jose Augusto Masmela-Sarmiento in Hackensack.

It’s now scheduled for January.

Detectives first arrested Masmela-Sarmiento in March 2012 on charges of molesting the girl between May 2002 and April 2005.

New counts were added after a woman, seeing the Colombian native’s mugshot along with a story on CLIFFVIEW PILOT about the arrest, came forward alleging rape.

Jose Augusto Masmela-Sarmiento (STORY / PHOTOS: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter)

“It’s him,” the now-27-year-old woman told a confidant.

Interviewed by detectives, she revealed details no one else would know of the May 3, 2001 assault on Palisade Plaza in Cliffside Park, a law enforcement source with knowledge of the case told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .

It was around 9 at night when an attacker threw her to the ground and molested her on May 3, 2001, the girl, then 15, told police.

The original report said the girl told police she screamed but no help came. It also included photos of scratch marks she said she sustained in the struggle.

The case remained cold until Marmela-Sarmiento, 47, was arrested in Fairview. Then the new charges were added.

“It will be one of our oldest cases on the docket,” Presiding Superior Court Judge Liliana DeAvila-Silebi told Maurice and Neary, “so unless you’re in a coma, it’s going [in January].”

Masmela-Sarmiento’s trial was tentatively to start July 14, following previous trial dates of October and December 2013 and January 2014. A judge set a plea cutoff date in April of last year.

Defense attorneys have said their client has undergone substantial facial surgery since then, and that both charges are cases of mistaken identity.

He has remained free on $300,000 bail since a month after his arrest.

Altogether, he is charged with 11 counts of rape and sexual abuse in two separate incidents.

to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.

Welcome to

Hackensack Daily Voice!

Serves Hackensack, Maywood, Rochelle Park & South Hackensack

Get the news you need to know on the go.

Welcome to

Hackensack Daily Voice!

Serves Hackensack, Maywood, Rochelle Park & South Hackensack

Hi! You've read our articles so we know you like our reporting. To keep reading please join our mailing list.

Get important news about your town as it happens.