An Ecuadorean immigrant charged with sexually assaulting a 7-year-old Peekskill girl told the girlís father that she was a "seductress" who had fallen in love with him
, a Westchester County prosecutor said today.
That conversation, recorded by the girlís father
, was among the evidence introduced against 24-year-old Pablo Arpi
, whose jury trial began today in White Plains.
Arpi is charged with first-degree course of sexual conduct with a child, a felony punishable by up to 25 years in state prison. He also faces two misdemeanor counts of child endangerment, one each for the girl and her younger brother, who prosecutors say witnessed the attacks.
Arpi lived in the same house as the girl, and worked with her father as a landscaper. He began touching the girl in September 2007, and it escalated to violent sexual assaults in front of the girlís brother, a toddler who would hit Arpi to try to stop the assaults
The girlís parents didnít learn of the abuse until finding a note from their daughter telling Arpi that she loved him, but used inappropriate language to describe her feelings
The girl refused to talk about the abuse until her father told her about lie detector tests. She then agreed to tell her mother about the assaults and has given the same account to authorities.
When the girlís father confronted Arpi, he told the man that he had kissed her because he was weak
, then said the girl took advantage of him
. He also told Peekskill police that the girl had asked him to have sex with her
"This is a 7-year-old weíre talking about," Clark-DiRusso said.
Arpi was arrested Jan. 25.
Defense lawyer Jose Muniz told the jury that Arpi said what he said out of fear, because the girlís father threatened to call police.
"To an immigrant, thatís like saying, ĎIím going to shoot you,í" he said.