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Providence man sentenced to serve 7 years in state prison for child molestation

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced that a Providence man was sentenced in Providence County Superior Court to serve seven years at the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI) after pleading to molesting a female victim in 2018 at a home on Douglas Avenue.

Jeffri Espejo-Yanez (age 38) pleaded nolo contendere to one count of second-degree child molestation.

At a hearing before Superior Court Justice Maureen B. Keough, the court sentenced Espejo-Yanez to 20 years at the ACI with seven years to serve and the balance of the sentence suspended with probation. Espejo-Yanez was ordered by the court to register as a sex offender, complete sex offender counseling, and is subject to community supervision. The court also issued a no contact order between Espejo-Yanez and his victim.

"This Office prosecutes cases like this one all too often – where a 'trusted' adult sexually exploits a young child," said Attorney General Neronha. "Such criminal conduct causes irreparable harm to victims and their families. I have been so impressed by the victim's strength, and grateful to her and her family for coming forward and for their willingness to see this case through to the end."

Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that in March 2018, Espejo-Yanez molested a female victim under the age of 14, who was known to him, at a home in Providence.

"This is one of many incidents where a juvenile is victimized by a trusted adult, causing severe trauma to both the victim and their family," said Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven M. Paré. "I commend the victim for coming forward, as the exploitation of a child is one of the most reprehensible crimes that one can commit. I thank the Providence Police Department Special Victims Unit for their investigation into this incident and the Attorney General's Office for their prosecution of this case, which resulted in removing the defendant from our streets, preventing him from causing harm to additional innocent victims."

Special Assistant Attorney General Bethany Laskowski and Detective Rich Mendez of the Providence Police Department led the investigation and prosecution of this case.