SCHENECTADY — A Maine man was sentenced to 75 years to life in prison Monday for the repeated sexual abuse of three Schenectady children.
Julio Cuadrado, 46, formerly of Auburn, Maine, was convicted in May on two counts of predatory sexual assault against a child and one count of first-degree sexual abuse.
The investigation began in 2015 when the children -- ages 7 to 10 at the time of the abuse -- confided in older siblings, then their mother.
In court on Monday, the mother addressed Cuadrado directly.
“Julio, you were dad. We loved you and trusted you," the woman said. "What you did to them will haunt them for the rest of their lives.”
Cuadrado abused two of the children from the summer of 2009 to the end of 2011 and into early 2012. All three children testified at trial, prosecutors have said.
The investigation began in 2015 when the children first made the allegations, prosecutor John Carson has said. They disclosed the abuse to older siblings, then to their mother. Police investigated, but no charges resulted at that time, Carson has said.
The investigation gained traction early last year, with another disclosure from the children, Carson said previously. That prompted Carson to examine the case with the new accounts, and he determined it should be placed in front of a grand jury to decide on charges.
Previous: Man faces up to life in prison for sexual assaults, May 30, 2018
Carson credited city police detectives for their work on the case, as well as a Schenectady County Department of Social Services worker John Quinn. Quinn developed a crucial rapport with the children that helped them find the confidence they needed to testify, Carson said previously.
Court proceedings Monday were prolonged by disputes between Cuadrado's attorney, Adam Parisi, and the prosecutor, as well as disputes between Parisi and Cuadrado.
Cuadrado, who carried a stack of paperwork into the courtroom, tried to file motions disputing the jury's decision and citing his attorney for ineffective counsel.
Almost an hour was dedicated to an exchange between Parisi, Carson and Judge Matthew Sypniewski regarding the merits of the motions and where to proceed.
Then, Parisi sought to strike from the record remarks made by a parole officer, who called Cuadrado a "sexual sadist." When that request was denied, Parisi objected to the mother of the victims presenting the victim impact statement, rather than the children themselves.
Carson called the motion "frankly offensive," to which Parisi replied, “If Mr. Carson finds that offensive, he should speak to the Legislature, not me, because they define who a victim is.”
Tensions heightened further when Carson characterized Cuadrado's crimes.
“Whenever he could steal a moment alone with those kids -- whenever he could excuse his conduct -- he would beat and sexually assault those kids," Carson said. "Nothing less than 50 to life, your honour.”
Parisi pushed back, maintaining his client's innocence.
“Nothing was said because nothing happened," Parisi said. "Whenever the family needs something, they make allegations against Mr. Cuadrado ...these are opportunistic complaints.”
Cuadrado briefly spoke after refusing to sign an order of protection document, citing the damage the trial inflicted on his reputation.
“This has ruined a father’s life, and I maintain my innocence,” Cuadrado said.
Ultimately, Judge Sypiewski had the last word -- handing down three 25-to-life sentences to be served consecutively.
“You killed parts of these kids," Sypniewski told Cuadrado, "and, frankly, you should die in prison, and I’m going to make sure that happens.”