Jose Calderon of Sunderland pleads guilty to raping girl beginning in 1989 when she was 10
NORTHAMPTON — About 23 years after he first assaulted a 10-year-old girl, Jose Calderon pleaded guilty Wednesday in Hampshire Superior Court to those crimes.
Calderon, 49, of 248 Amherst Road, Sunderland, admitted to three counts of rape of a child and one count of indecent assault and battery of a child under 14.
His sentencing was set for Jan. 28, pending a mental health evaluation.
According to Assistant Northwestern District Attorney Carrie Russell, the abuses began in October 1989 when the victim was 10 and continued for about two years. Calderon would pick the victim up after dance classes and take her to a wooded area in Amherst before bringing her home, she said, and would make threats against her younger brother as leverage for her continued compliance and silence.
“That is an ultimatum no child should ever have to face,” the victim, now 33, read aloud in court from a prepared statement.
She told judge Mary-Lou Rup that since the attacks she has suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, has difficulty undergoing routine medical examinations, and has dealt with depression and suicidal thoughts.
Twenty years of therapy could not bring happiness back into her life, she said. The victim reported the crimes to Amherst police in March 2010.
After the hearing, Calderon was ordered held on the same $2,500 cash bail that was set at his arraignment in October 2011. Prosecutors are seeking an eight-to-10 year prison sentence followed by five years of probation.
Calderon’s defense attorney, Jonah Goldsmith of the Committee for Public Counsel Services, recommended a 2½-year jail sentence followed by two years of probation.
In her statement, the victim asked Rup to consider as stern a punishment as possible for her attacker.
“I hope this court sends a message,” she said. “It’s not OK to sexually abuse someone, and it’s never too late to fight.”
Bob Dunn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org