A 39-year-old pizza cook is facing a sexual assault charge after impregnating his 12-year-old stepdaughter, police said Tuesday.
Leonel Bartolo Rodriguez was arraigned in state Superior Court in Stamford on Monday after he was extradited from New York, where a family relative reported the assault to police, according to a statement from Stamford police.
Rodriguez, a native of Guatemala who was employed at a Hope Street restaurant, was also charged with one count of risk of injury to a minor.
Police said the girl told her mother earlier this month that she was not feeling well and experiencing cramps. When her mother took her to a doctor, it was determined she was pregnant, and the doctor notified the stateDepartment of Children and Families. The girl was reluctant to disclose any information about the pregnancy at the time, police said.
A day later, the girl traveled with Rodriguez and her mother to visit an aunt in Queens, police said. During the visit, the girl told the aunt that her stepfather had molested her on several occasions and caused the pregnancy.
The aunt called New York City police and Rodriguez was taken into custody. New York City police notified Stamford police on July 19 and an investigation was immediately launched involving the State’s Attorney’s Office, the Child Guidance Center’s Sexual Abuse Response Team and DCF.
Police obtained a warrant for Rodriguez’s arrest and he was charged in New York as a fugitive from justice until he was picked up by Stamford police at Queens Superior Court last week.
The arrest warrant has been ordered sealed, and Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Maureen Ornousky asked that Rodriguez’ address not be published in order to shield the identity of the victim.
Although Rodriguez made no plea at his arraignment Monday morning, he was ordered held in lieu of $100,000 bond by Judge Erika Tindall. He was assigned the courthouse’s second most-senior public defender, Howard Ehring,