Man Sentenced to 20 Years for Sexually Assaulting Two Children in Newark

Newark – Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert D. Laurino announced today that Esmeraldo Bonilla, 49, of Newark was sentenced to 20 years in New Jersey State Prison for sexually assaulting two girls.

Under the terms of the plea agreement he was sentenced to 20 years and must serve 20 years before he is eligible for parole. In addition, he must register as a Megan’s Law sex offender and will be under lifetime parole supervision.

The sexual assaults took place between 2014 and 2016. The girls were ages 9 and 11 when the crimes started.

“This guilty plea avoided a trial and retraumatizing the minor victims, however, the harm inflicted on the two children is something they have to live with for the rest of their lives. No amount of jail time can make up for the loss of their innocence,’’ said Assistant Prosecutor Peter Polidoro, who handled the case.

In a 15-count indictment Bonilla was originally charged with multiple counts of first degree aggravated sexual assault, second degree sexual assault and second degree endangering the welfare of a child multiple counts.

On Feb. 14, he pled guilty to two counts of first degree aggravated sexual assault – one for each victim – before the Honorable John Gizzo, Judge of the Superior Court.

Bonilla has been incarcerated since his arrest on April 13, 2016. He was arrested after fleeing New Jersey. He was discovered in a shelter in New York City.