A married East Hampton father of three who told stunned police officers he had sexually abused at least three children was held on $1 million bail Friday as his attorney requested a judge place him on suicide watch.
Police said the man, 27, who confessed to the abuse in East Hampton Town Police headquarters just before 1 a.m. Thursday, pleaded not guilty in East Hampton Town Justice Court to four counts of first-degree criminal sexual act, two counts of first-degree sexual abuse and six counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Newsday is withholding his identity to protect potential victims.
He was ordered held on $1 million bail by Judge Alisa Rana, who also issued an order of protection against him forbidding him contact with his children.
Police said the man, a chef at an East Hampton restaurant, is believed to be in the United States illegally from Ecuador.
His residency status is under investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, police said, and he faces potential deportation.
East Hampton Det. Lt. Chris Anderson said the victims are aged 4, 5 and 7 and said the alleged abuse took place over "a period of several months."
Police said they will not release more information about the suspect to protect the victims, but officials told the court the victims were a boy and two girls. Anderson said police are investigating whether there are other victims.
"Clearly, we're looking into whether he had any contact with any additional minors and are trying to identify if there are additional victims," he said.
Anderson said the suspect "walked in off the street" Thursday at 12:46 a.m. and asked "to speak with police about having abused some children." It turned out one of the victims told a family member about the alleged abuse and that person had confronted the suspect, who decided to turn himself in, he said.