A former Bethlehem pastor admitted Tuesday to systematically sexually abusing a girl for years starting when she was 12, a crime a prosecutor said shows that no one can be trusted.
Santos A. Rosado, 45, pleaded guilty to offenses that could bring a maximum of 35 years in prison, acknowledging that he repeatedly had sex with a girl that eventually resulted in her pregnancy.
It is just one of two sexual assault cases that Rosado, who had a South Side ministry, faces sentencing for. On Friday, Rosado will be before another Northampton County judge in the abuse of a troubled teen who sought his help while he was pastor of a congregation at the Bethlehem Community Fellowship building in the Marvine-Pembroke housing development
"Don't trust anybody," Assistant District Attorney Patricia Broscius said when asked if she could bring perspective to Rosado's case.
The crimes Rosado admitted Tuesday began in 1993, his victim, now in her 30s, has testified. Rosado would crawl into bed with her, pull up her nightgown and rape her, Broscius related in court.
At 18, the victim got pregnant by Rosado and he tried to force her to get an abortion. As part of the plea agreement, Rosado agreed to renounce parental rights to the son who was born — a "very important" component for the victim, Broscius said.
The assaults were such a part of the victim's life that Rosado continued to have sexual contact with her until she was 25 years old, said Broscius and Bethlehem police detective Thomas Galloway, who investigated Rosado.
"She was programmed to respond in a certain way, and she was forced to respond in a certain way," Broscius said.
The guilty plea was to two counts of statutory sexual assault and one each of indecent assault, corrupting a minor, and endangering the welfare of a child. Judge Craig Dally underscored for Rosado that plea negotiations did not include a fixed sentence when he is before Dally again on Dec. 16.
Rosado, handcuffed and in a prison jumpsuit, paused at length when Dally asked him if he admitted the crimes outlined by Broscius, and whether he would give up his parental rights to the now 10-year-old boy.
"Yes," Rosado finally said both times.
Under the charges, Rosado will have to register as a sex offender for 10 years after he is released from prison, and could be required to register for life if Dally deems him a sexually violent predator.
Defense attorney Ron Creazzo told Dally that he advised his client to refrain from any statements until his sentencing. Creazzo declined to comment to the media after the hearing.
In July, Rosado admitted to corrupting a minor and two counts of indecent assault for molesting 14-year-old girl he met in 2007.
The girl, a runaway who was in and out of foster placement, was counseled by Rosado until the age of 16, Broscius has said. The inappropriate contact started with a kiss and continued to mutual fondling, Broscius told Judge Leonard Zito, who will sentence Rosado on that case.
Rosado was charged in August 2010. Seven months before, he was arrested for stealing from Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem, where he worked.
Police said Rosado created fake player cards and loaded them with promotional credits to bilk money from the casino. He eventually pleaded guilty to theft and access device fraud and was sent to Northampton County Prison for three to 23 months.