Greenwich man found guilty of molesting Stamford teen
STAMFORD — After a four-day trial, a Stamford jury has found that a Greenwich man guilty of molesting his girlfriend’s daughter in 2016.
The jury took about three hours to deliberate on the case Monday afternoon before returning guilty verdicts to all felony counts against Daniel Morales, 41. Morales, of Kirby St., was found guilty of two counts of fourth-degree sexual assault of a child under 14 and risk of injury to a child by having sexual contact with a minor.
The sexual assault charges carry a maximum prison term of five years each and the risk of injury charges carry 20-year sentences, giving Morales an exposure of up to 50 years in prison when he returns to court for sentencing by Judge John Blawie Nov. 18.
The trial, presided over by Blawie, began on Wednesday when the girl, now 16, took the stand for much of the day. She testified that Morales made her touch his penis on three occasions and that he pushed his hands down her pants and touched her breasts.
Daniel Cummings, the assistant state’s attorney who prosecuted the case, said he was pleased with the verdict.
“These are very difficult cases, but the Stamford Police Department did an excellent investigation and the victim showed tremendous courage throughout the case,” Cummings said. “We’re very grateful the jury was able to deliver a just result.”
Ben Aponte, Morales’ public defender, declined to comment on the case.
The mother of the victim, whose name is being withheld to protect the girl’s identity, also took the stand and said her daughter told her of the touching in November 2016. She said she and her daughter confronted Morales who at first denied touching the girl but ultimately admitted his guilt to them.
Neither the girl nor her mother reported the incidents to police. In early January 2017 the girl spoke to a social worker at her school who notified police of the sexual abuse, according to a 10-page arrest affidavit spelling out the allegations. After an investigation, Morales was arrested in July 2017 and he was freed after posting a $150,000 bond.
After the jury’s verdict was read to Morales, some in the courtroom said he appeared to look as if he were about to faint. After removing his his jewelry off, he was taken into custody by judicial marshals to await sentencing.