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Defendant convicted of aggravated sexual assault of child

A Union County jury has returned guilty verdicts against a New Providence man who sexually assaulted the child his girlfriend was hired to babysit, acting Union County Prosecutor Michael A. Monahan announced Friday.

Manuel Vasquez, 30, was convicted of first-degree aggravated sexual assault and third-degree endangering the welfare of a child following less than two hours of jury deliberation and a two-week trial before state Superior Court Judge Robert Kirsch. 

An investigation initiated by a referral from the New Providence Police Department and led by UCPO Special Victims Unit Detective Annie Coll determined that the victim was between 6 and 8 years of age when Vasquez engaged in sex acts with her on two separate occasions, at one point also showing her sexually graphic videos, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Christina Fay, who prosecuted the case. 

Vasquez was arrested in August 2018 and indicted two and a half months later, Fay said.  

The victim, now 14, testified at trial, explaining the circumstances of how Vasquez was able to get her alone and why she delayed in disclosing the abuse. 

Sentencing in the case has been scheduled for Friday, May 3, 2019, at which time Vasquez will face a term of up to 25 years in state prison.