Man Extradited Back to U.S. after Sexually Abusing Girl, 6, Was Defrocked Priest: DA
By Lisa Finn
April 26, 2017
A man extradited back to the United States after sexually abusing a girl, 6, in Hamptons Bays, was a defrocked priest, according to Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota.
Augusto Cortez pleaded not guilty Monday at his arraignment before Judge Barbara Kahn in Riverhead, Spota said.
Cortez, 53, pleaded not guilty to the three charges in the indictment: first degree criminal sexual act, first degree sexual abuse, and endangering the welfare of a child, Spota said.
The court remanded the defendant without bail and set a return date of May 15; a temporary order of protection was issued for the victim, Spota said.
Cortez is a registered sex offender who was convicted of forcible touching in Brooklyn in 2009, Spota said.
Spota said the crimes alleged in the indictment occurred in June of 2014 and Cortez was indicted by a grand jury in October of that year, Spota said.
Cortez was extradited and arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport Saturday, police said.
The Southampton Town Police Department's detective division arrested Cortez at JFK and charged him with first degree sexual abuse of a child, a felony, first degree criminal sexual act, a felony, and endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor, police said.
Cortez, charged with sexually abusing the child back in 2014, fled the United States to South America after realizing he was a target of the investigation, police said.
He headed to several South American countries and was finally located in Guatemala by Interpol, police said.
With the assistance of the U.S. Marshals NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force, Cortez was extradited back to the United States following his indictment by Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota's office, police said.
Southampton Town Police's detective division worked hand in hand with the U.S. Marshals NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force and The Suffolk County District Attorney’s office to bring the three-year case to a successful conclusion, police said.