A Brentwood man admitted in court Tuesday that he served as a lookout while two friends dragged a 16-year-old girl into some brambles next to a golf course and raped her.
Bryan Larios, 19, pleaded guilty to second-degree kidnapping, first-degree rape, numerous other sex crimes, second-degree robbery and third-degree assault. In return for his plea, Suffolk County Court Judge Barbara Kahn agreed to sentence him to 1 1⁄3 to 4 years in prison on Aug. 18 and will consider granting him youthful offender status, which would seal his criminal record.
Larios’ two co-defendants, Jose Cornejo and Joel Escobar, both 18 and of Brentwood, already have pleaded guilty to their roles in the May 29, 2015, attack. Cornejo is serving 15 years in prison and Escobar is serving 12. Earlier in the case, Suffolk prosecutors offered Larios a sentence of 8 years if he would plead guilty to robbery, but he rejected that offer.
During questioning by Assistant District Attorney Nicholas Santomartino, Larios said he and his co-defendants encountered another man with the girl in Brentwood. They beat the man and stole property from both him and the girl, Larios said, and then took the girl to the edge of the Brentwood Country Club.
Initially, Larios told Santomartino he was trying to protect the girl from Cornejo and Escobar.
“I wasn’t really on the lookout,” he said, through a Spanish interpreter. “I was making sure they did no wrong.”
But after conferring briefly with his attorney, Michael Alber of Commack, Larios conceded that he was a lookout and he knew the other men were sexually assaulting the girl.
As horrible as the crime was, Alber noted that his client’s actions weren’t as bad as what Cornejo and Escobar did.
“It was clear from the circumstances of the case that he certainly had a role that was significantly less than his two co-defendants,” Alber said, adding his client is sorry for what he did. “He’s looking to put this behind him. He’s accepted responsibility.”
Earlier this year, when Cornejo was sentenced, Santomartino read a letter from the girl’s mother in which she said the girl has become “an involuntary, silent prisoner in her own home,” unable to trust anyone.
She no longer goes to school, has lost her friends and can’t leave the home unless her father is with her, the mother said.