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Man guilty of raping toddler, 2
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A local father faces a quarter-century behind bars after he was convicted of raping his 2-year-old handicapped daughter.
Prosecutors admit the defendant, Joseph Anthony Saitta Jr., may have gotten away with the crime if not for the bravery of a personal care nurse who sacrificed her job to bring the abuse to light.
Saitta was convicted following a two-day trial in which prosecutors told jurors the nurse had broken regulations by leaving the child to take the little girl’s mother to a family member’s house. It was during that time, prosecutors proved during trial, that Saitta raped the helpless toddler.
When they returned, the nurse saw something she felt suggested the child had been molested. The 2-year-old is totally unable to communicate due to a severe mental handicap.
At some point, prosecutors said, the nurse contacted law enforcement with her suspicions after doctors failed to make a connection between the child’s symptoms and her being victimized. However, in doing so, the nurse had to admit to violating policy and leaving the child’s care resulting in her being terminated from her job.
It was at that point, once alerted about the allegation, investigators learned about some clothes the child had been wearing when the molestation happened. Officers were able to recover the outfit and send it analysis before it was laundered. It was at the lab technicians found bodily fluid which matched DNA belonging to Saitta. The DNA evidence served as the smoking gun when the case was presented to the jury.
Saitta will face 15 to 25 years in prison when he comes for sentencing before Circuit Court Judge Bart Stanley. The crime requires service of 100 percent jail time.