Thursday, January 10, 2008

Level 3 Sex offender pleads not guilty to rape

A Waltham man who admitted raping a 9-year-old girl in 2004 pleaded not guilty in Middlesex Superior Court yesterday to new charges that he raped another girl.
Ralph Fiorentino, 36, a Level 3 sex offender who lives at 390 Newton St., faces three counts of statutory rape of a child and one count of indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14.

He was released without bail. Fiorentino pleaded guilty in 2006 to charges that he raped a 9-year-old girl in his home on Jan. 16, 2004 and was sentenced to two to eight years probation.
The new charges stem from the same incident in which prosecutors say Fiorentino raped another 9-year-old girl that same day. The two girls were friends. According to the mother of the latest alleged victim, her daughter was too scared to come forward until August 2006.
The Daily News Tribune does not identify sexual assault victims.

Acting on a request from defense attorney Paul Seaver, Judge Sydney Hanlon prohibited the News Tribune from photographing Fiorentino saying the case could become compromised.
When discussing the terms of Fiorentino's release, Assistant District Attorney Beth Merachnik said, "I was told the defendant's sister made threatening remarks to the victim's mother (out in the hallway)."

Hanlon warned Fiorentino's family not to have any contact with the girl or her family. "If anything is said to any alleged victim, you will be brought back to court," said Hanlon.
Fiorentino was also ordered to not have any direct or indirect contact with the girl, her family or any child under the age of 16.

Both the prosecution and the defense recommended Fiorentino be released without bail because of his cooperation with the recent indictment and his compliance with the terms of his current probation.

Reached at home after the court proceedings, the alleged victim's mother said she could not provide details on the threatening statements made to her in the courthouse.
As for Fiorentino's release without bail, "It's a mixed emotion to be quite honest. In some respects I wish that he was on bail, but ... this is essentially stemming from another case he has previously been convicted on."

The woman said "the most important (thing is) that people know he is a sex offender and has harmed young children." Fiorentino will return to court Feb. 5 at 2 p.m. for a pretrial conference.

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