Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens, II, announced today that Diego Ayala, 35, of Newark, was sentenced yesterday to 25 years in New Jersey State Prison for sexually assaulting an eight-year-old girl and filming the crime.
The sentence was imposed by the Honorable Christopher S. Romanyshyn, Judge of the Superior Court.
Under the terms of a plea agreement, Ayala must serve the entire 25 years before being eligible for parole.
Ayala pled guilty to two counts of first-degree aggravated sexual assault of a victim under the age of 13 and one count of first-degree, endangering the welfare of a child.
When he entered his guilty plea, Ayala admitted to sexually assaulting the 8-year-old victim and filming the sexual assaults of the victim on his cellphone.
The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victim's Unit, with the Newark Police Department's assistance, investigated the case.
Assistant Prosecutor Nicole Buermann, who handled the case, said, "We want to thank the courageous young victim for coming forward and we hope this sentence will provide some sense of healing and closure."
Ayala will be required to serve the entire 25-year sentence according to the Jessica Lunsford Act and was also sentenced to Parole Supervision for Life and required to register under Megan's Law.