A 70-year-old Egg Harbor City man has been convicted of sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a 12-year-old girl.

Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner says on Monday, a jury found Jose A. Rodriguez guilty of two counts of second degree sexual assault and third degree endangering the welfare of a 12-year-old girl when he sexually assaulted her on August 20, 2019.

Jose A. Rodriguez of Egg Harbor City - Photo: ACPO

Tyner's office says Rodriguez gave her $10.00 and told her, "not to tell anyone about what happened in his house because he didn’t want to get in trouble with the police." The victim reported the incident later that evening to her mother and the family went to authorities to report it.

During a bench trial on Thursday, Rodriguez was also found guilty of one count of violation of community supervision for life. When Rodriguez sexually assaulted the 12-year-old girl, he was on Megan’s Law and subject to parole conditions. Rodriguez’s contact alone with a child put him in direct violation of his parole conditions, says Tyner.

Rodriguez was previously convicted of a prior aggravated criminal sexual contact with a minor when he pled guilty and was sentenced to that conviction on June 11, 2004.

In a statement, Tyner said, "Sexual assaults against children are some of the most heinous crimes that we prosecute. As a society, we have an obligation to protect those who are too young or naïve to fend off dangerous predators such as this defendant. I want to applaud the courage of this strong young lady to first, tell her parents about the assault, and then face her abuser in open court and testify. I am hopeful that this defendant will never have the opportunity to abuse anyone ever again."

Sentencing is scheduled for February 26, 2021.

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