D. A.: Bushwick Man Abused Kids
Assaulted In J.H. Apt. Laundry Room
A Bushwick man has been charged with having inappropriate sexual contact with two young girls—ages four and nine—who he lured into the laundry room of their Jackson Heights apartment building two weeks ago.
Mario Lopez, 52, of Chauncey Street in Brooklyn, has been charged with second-degree burglary, seconddegree burglary (as a sexually motivated felony), luring a child, first-degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison.
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown, whose office announced the charges in a press release last Thursday, Nov. 15, stated that the allegation “makes him a threat to children and a clear and present danger to society in general.”
“Such conduct, if proven true, cannot go unpunished,” he added.
According to the criminal charges, Lopez entered a residential building in Jackson Heights at about 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 12, and stood near the elevators, waving to children and walking with the two female victims toward the building’s laundry room under the pretense that he needed help with his laundry.
Once inside the room, it is alleged that Lopez sexually abused both young girls by slapping the nineyear old’s buttocks and inappropriately touching the four-year-old under her clothes. Lopez then allegedly offered to buy candy for the nine-year-old before fleeing.
The case came to light when one of the girls told family members, who, in turn, notified authorities. District Attorney Brown said that any other individuals who believe they may also have been victimized by the defendant should call NYPD Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.
The investigation was conducted by the New York City Police Department’s Queens Special Victims Squad (at the Child Advocacy Center)— specifically, Detectives Joe Girimonte and Michael McNellis, under the supervision of Sgt. George Foun- toulakis and the overall supervision of Lt. Kesha Johnson.
Assistant District Attorney Jared R. Rosenblatt, of the District Attorney’s Special Victims Bureau, is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Marjory D. Fisher, Bureau Chief, and Kenneth M. Appelbaum and Lucinda C. Suarez, Deputy Bureau Chiefs, and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Charles A.Testagrossa and Deputy Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Daniel A. Saunders.
It should be noted that criminal complaints are merely accusations and that a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.