(Q24N) From the Trentonian – The former girlfriend of a Costa Rican man believed she could smell the guilt on her lover, a defense attorney said.
Pablo Beita’s alleged crime was not infidelity but sexual assault of a child. He was arrested and charged April 2 with aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, endangering the welfare of a child and distributing obscene material to a minor, according to court records.
Beita is accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl multiple times over the last year, prosecutors said at a bail hearing Wednesday.
A 31-year-old undocumented immigrant who has been living in the country illegally for the last 11 years, Beita contends the allegations are not true.
His attorney, Caroline Turner, said the sexual assault allegation coincided with the deterioration of Beita’s relationship with the victim’s mother. He was the live-in boyfriend of the victim’s mother and had known the victim since she was a few years old.
The girl told police she had been repeatedly violated by Beita for at least a year, prosecutors said. Prosecutors said the girl was taken to the hospital where she underwent a sexual assault exam. The results of the exam were not made public.
The victim’s mother reported the allegations to police after she walked into her home and found Beita in a room with the victim and the door closed, prosecutors said.
She demanded to “smell his penis for any indication of sexual activity,” Turner said. The defense attorney apologized to the court for putting such “salacious facts” on the record, but said it was important to defend Beita, who she said has been wrongfully accused.
“I have not heard one single piece of evidence that this actually happened,” Turner said.
Beita contends his relationship with the victim’s mother was over after they got into an argument. He left the home, went out and got drunk and returned to her home some time later. He fell asleep on the couch, Turner said. When he woke up, he called his brother and asked him to come pick him up, Turner said.
While he was packing and waiting for his brother to come get him, the victim came in the room and shut the door, Turner said. She insisted her client was not the one who shut the door.
Turner contends Beita was still inebriated when he spoke to police, raising the possibility that he plans to contest the admissibility of his statement going forward.
Beita has no prior criminal record in New Jersey. A judge maintained his bail at $300,000, noting Beita is a flight risk because of the criminal charges and because a federal detainer is in place.