Union County Man Convicted of Aggravated Assault of Minor

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

Officials say Manuel Vasquez, 30, was convicted of first-degree aggravated sexual assault and third-degree endangering the welfare of a minor 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.

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

Officials say 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 May 3rd, at which time Vasquez will face a term of up to 25 years in state prison.