West Haven man pleads guilty to sexual assault

January 15, 2019

MILFORD — A West Haven man will be sentenced to two and a half years in prison after pleading guilty to child molestation charges Tuesday.

Rafael Salgar, 63, pleaded guilty under the Alford doctrine to fourth-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor before Judge Peter Brown.

Under the Alford doctrine, a defendant doesn’t agree with all of the prosecution’s accusations but concedes that a conviction is likely if the case went to trial.

According to Assistant State’s Attorney Amy Bepko, Salgar inappropriately touched a girl he knew several times over a period of more than two years — from September 2015 to December 2017.

The abuse happened when the girl was visiting Salgar’s home, according to the prosecutor.

The girl was 9 when the abuse began, Bepko said. The victim disclosed Salgar’s behavior when she was 10, after which police opened an investigation.

The prosecutor said the the girl’s family has been involved in the case and is aware of the plea offer, which she said she made “in the spirit of disposing of the case short of trial.”

Under the terms of the plea deal between Bepko and Salgar’s lawyer, Angel Lugo, the judge will hand down an eight-year prison sentence to be suspended after Salgar serves two and a half years behind bars, followed by 10 years of probation during which he must register as a sex offender.

The judge continued the case to March 26 for sentencing. Salgar was arrested in the case last May and released after posting $15,000 bond, according to court records.

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