Aug. 9-An admitted child molester learned Tuesday he will go to a state prison for abusing a young girl in Carbondale.
Fermin Ernesto Cruz, 48, was sentenced to five to 10 years behind bars followed by three years of probation - the stiffest penalty Lackawanna County Judge Margaret Bisignani Moyle said she could impose.
The sentence, however, will run while he serves a seven-year term in Connecticut for sexually assaulting another girl in 2017 in Danbury. Cruz was first incarcerated there Feb. 26, 2018, his attorney Curt Parkins said. Moyle said she will honor the terms of the plea agreement and award him credit for time he's already served.
"From the beginning, he accepted responsibility," Parkins said. "From the second I met him, he said, 'I want to work this out. I admit what I did.' "
Cruz pleaded guilty April 1 to aggravated indecent assault of a child. Carbondale police alleged he sexually abused a girl multiple times between 2014 and 2016, beginning when the victim was 7 until she turned 9.
The Times-Tribune does not identify victims of sexual assault.
Parkins said Cruz "used every drug in the book," which compromised his judgement.
"It's not an excuse," Parkins said. "It's an explanation of how he got in this situation."
On Wednesday, Cruz stipulated to the designation he is a sexually violent predator. He will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
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