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Saturday, June 05, 2004

Man is sentenced to 30 years for rapes

Man is sentenced to 30 years for rapes

Man is sentenced to 30 years for rapes
Saturday, June 05, 2004
BY JIM O'NEILL
Star-Ledger Staff
An illegal immigrant from Honduras apologized yesterday before he was sentenced to 30 years in prison for raping an 82-year-old woman and a 14-year-old girl and attempting to rape a 73-year-old woman in separate incidents last summer.

Nelson Abarca, 28, who had been living in New Brunswick, will serve about 24 years and eight months before he will be eligible for parole.

Before the sentence was imposed at the Middlesex County Courthouse in New Brunswick, Abarca asked for forgiveness and blamed drug and alcohol abuse for the attacks.

Assistant Middlesex County Prosecutor Christopher Kuberiet asked the court for a harsh penalty, and noted that since the defendant was arrested, his DNA samples linked him to the rape of a woman in Dallas, where he is facing additional charges.

Superior Court Judge Phillip Lewis Paley sentenced Abarca who pleaded guilty in January. Abarca, who will be deported when he completes his sentence and any penalties he may face in Texas, avoided a possible life prison term by admitting the sex assault charges.

As part of the plea agreement, the prosecution dropped six burglary counts, in which Abarca was accused of breaking into the homes of his older victims and was charged with illegally entering four other homes in North Brunswick last summer.

The prosecution also agreed to dismiss two counts of criminal restraint, in which authorities charged the defendant held the two senior victims against their will.

Abarca admitted climbing through a kitchen window of a home in North Brunswick on June 27, hoping to steal money. He found the 82-year-old woman asleep, put his hand over her mouth, raped her and fled, he said.

He also said he walked through the unlocked front door of the North Brunswick home of the 73-year-old woman, removed her panties and attempted to rape her, but fled when a relative arrived and parked in the driveway.

A break in the case came when the mother of the 14-year-old girl complained to police that her daughter had relations with an older man, and police arrested Abarca.

He admitted having relations with the girl after picking her up at Feaster Park in New Brunswick on Aug. 3 and plying her with alcohol.

After arresting him on a charge of assaulting the teenager, police said they determined he was responsible for the attacks on the senior women.

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