UNION COUNTY—A Union County man faces more than 100 years in prison after he was convicted last week on 20 separate counts of raping four young girls, Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow announced.
Victor Murillo Barahona, 54, repeatedly abused four girls beginning in 2001 up until his arrest on April 14, 2008, said Assistant Prosecutor John Esmerado, who prosecuted the case.
Murillo Barahona was arrested after one of the victims disclosed the abuse to a parent, said Esmerado. The three other victims quickly told of similar abuse to their caregivers.
“He raped these children for eight years,” said Esmerado. “It was so frequent that the children lost count. He bribed them with food and candy to get them alone and then threatened them in order to keep their silence.”
The abuse began for all but one girl at the age of five. The fourth was abused when she turned eight years old, said Esmerado.
The victims gave detailed accounts of the abuse to Union County Prosecutor’s Office Detective Janet Lopez. A search warrant executed at Murillo Barahona’s home uncovered two DVDs, which depicted the defendant raping one of the children, said Esmerado.
The assistant prosecutor credited the courage and resiliency of the four young girls who spoke the painful truths about their experience over the last eight years. Two faced the defendant in court. The two others were so traumatized that they could not face the defendant in person and testified via closed circuit television.
The trial took place before Union County Superior Court Judge James Heimlich. The jury took just two hours to convict Murillo Barahona and found him guilty of: five counts of first degree aggravated sexual assault; seven counts of second degree aggravated sexual assault and eight counts of third degree endangering the welfare of a minor.
The state is recommending that each sentenced be served consecutively, so Murillo Barahona faces more than 100 years in state prison when sentenced on Jan. 29, 2010.
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