Staten Island man convicted of luring, endangering teenage girl in Elizabeth

A Union County jury has returned a series of guilty verdicts against a New York man charged with luring a teenager into his car and initiating sexual contact with her a little more than three years ago.

Vincent O’Leary, 48, of Staten Island was convicted on charges of second-degree luring, third-degree endangering the welfare of a child, and two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual contact following a three-week trial before state Superior Court Judge William Daniel and 25 minutes of jury deliberation.

On October 1, 2014, the 14-year-old victim was walking through a restaurant parking lot on U.S. Routes 1&9 (Spring Street) in Elizabeth when O’Leary approached her and offered her a ride in his car, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutors David Hummel and Michele Buckley, who prosecuted the case.

The victim accepted because she was running late for an after-school program, Hummel and Buckley said. Once she entered the vehicle, they explained, O’Leary began asking her a series of sexually charged questions and requested that she engage in sexual activity with him – and when she refused, he grabbed her arm and forced her to touch him inappropriately.

O’Leary then dropped the victim off on Dickinson Street in Elizabeth without further incident. Following a three-week investigation by the Elizabeth Police Department, O’Leary – then already a registered sex offender in New York following a conviction for a nearly identical crime – was identified as a suspect and arrested.

Judge Daniel ordered O’Leary remanded following the jury’s verdict on Thursday. Sentencing has been tentatively scheduled for February 2, 2018.

Convictions on second-degree criminal charges are commonly punishable by 5 to 10 years in state prison.