A Central Islip man was convicted Friday for the rape and sexual abuse of a young girl over a five-year span, beginning when she was 10 years old, Suffolk County prosecutors said.
The conviction came, the prosecutors said, in the last Suffolk criminal trial to conclude before most cases were postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Byron Cisneros, 47, was found guilty by a jury on March 20 of first-degree sexual conduct against a child; third-degree rape; three counts of third-degree criminal sexual act; endangering the welfare of a child and second-degree menacing.
“Even under normal circumstances, trials involving rape or sexual abuse are always among the most difficult,” said Suffolk District Attorney Timothy Sini in a prepared statement Monday. “This trial presented unprecedented challenges in light of the Coronavirus pandemic … Thanks to the hard work of the investigators and prosecutors on this case, as well as the extremely brave testimony from the victim, the jury reached the right result and this sexual predator was brought to justice.”
Christopher Gioe, Cisneros’ Hauppauge-based defense attorney, said his client "maintains his innocence and intends to appeal the rulings of the court and the decisions of the jury."
Cisneros sexually abused and raped the victim at her home, in his vehicle and in county motels beginning when she was 10 years old and continuing until she turned 15, according to police and prosecutors.
The victim disclosed the abuse to a family member and it was reported to the police in May 2019, authorities said.
Cisneros fled the county but was apprehended by officials with U.S. Marshals Service on May 31, 2019, while waiting for a bus in Charlotte, North Carolina, authorities said.
The trial, which began March 12, was the last to finish before court proceedings largely grinded to a halt in county courts in Central Islip and Riverhead because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The final witness in the trial, an analyst from the Suffolk Crime Laboratory, testified via Skype video conferencing, prosecutors said. The jury deliberated for roughly 5½ hours before delivering a guilty verdict on all counts Friday.
Cisneros is scheduled to be sentenced by Suffolk County acting Supreme Court Justice Chris Ann Kelley on April 27. He faces a maximum sentence of 29 years in prison.