Summit Man Sentenced For Teen Sex

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ELIZABETH—A 21-year-old Summit man was sentenced to five years in state prison for having sex with each of three teenage girls.

Union County Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow said Ryan Vernotico pled guilty on May 15 to three separate counts of second degree sexual assault against a minor.

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Vernotico will be required to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law and will be on parole supervision for life upon his release from prison.

Earlier this year, the father of one victim found suspicious online communication between Vernotico and his daughter. When asked the girl who was 14-years-old at the time admitted to the relationship with Vernotico, then 20, according to Assistant Prosecutor David Hummel, who prosecuted the case

The girl told police that she met Vernotico while walking on the street in Summit.

He approached in a car and the two struck up a conversation. They later exchanged telephone numbers and met again several after weeks when the sexual activity began, said Hummel.

The first victim introduced Vernotico to two friends and they too had sexual encounters with the man.

These cases were discovered while Sgt. Thomas Rich of the Summit Police department and Prosecutor’s Office Detective Patricia Gusmano were conducting their investigation into the original sex assault case.

During interviews with the first girl’s friends, the two teenagers said they too had sexual encounters with Vernotico, said Hummel.

The sexual assaults of all three girls happened in February and March of 2009, said Hummel.

Vernotico was sentenced by Union County Superior Court Judge Robert J. Mega Oct. 9


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