(SUFFOLK COUNTY, N.Y.) – Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney today announced the sentencing of Pelencho Contrera, age 65, of Rape in the First Degree after a jury returned a guilty verdict against him June.
“Today I commend the victim for her courage. Her willingness to bravely come forward in court to tell her story allowed this defendant to be held responsible for his actions,” said Tierney. “We take these crimes seriously and I hope this verdict and sentence in this case sends the message that victims of sexual abuse will be supported and heard and their abusers will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
The evidence at trial established that on August 6, 2018, the victim, age 18, was raped during a visit to see her family in Bay Shore. The defendant asked the victim to go food shopping to the supermarket with him but instead he drove her to the Sunrise Inn in West Babylon where he threatened to kill the victim, her mother and her siblings if she did not do what he wanted. Inside the motel room, the defendant then raped her.
The victim was able to take a photograph with her cell phone of the defendant’s back after the incident. The complainant returned home to her country, however, she later returned to the United States nearly a year later to file a complaint at the Third Precinct on July 5, 2019.
The next day, on July 6, 2019, Det. Jack Balaguera of the Suffolk County Police’s Third Squad went to the Sunrise Inn and obtained the registration card with the defendant’s name on it from the date of the crime, August 6, 2018. On July 7, 2019, the defendant was placed under arrest at his house.
In addition to being found guilty of Rape in the First Degree, Contrera was found guilty of the following charges: Sexual Abuse in the First Degree, Aggravated Sexual Abuse in the Third Degree and Rape in the Third Degree.
Contrera was sentenced today by the Honorable Karen Wilutis. He was represented by Mary Paleaz, Esq.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Michelle Haddad and Breanna McIntyre of the Child Abuse and Domestic Violence Bureau.
Criminal complaints and indictments are merely accusatory instruments.
Defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. No one is above the law.
William J. Lindsay County Complex • Building 77 • 725 Veterans Memorial Highway, Hauppauge, NY 11788
(631) 853-4169 | SuffolkCountyNY.gov/DA
Suffolk County District Attorney's Office
William J. Lindsay County Complex - Bldg. 77
Veterans Memorial Highway
Hauppauge, NY 11788
Frequently Asked Questions
Covid-19 Information & Resources
Social Media Use Policy