Waterbury man sentenced to 65 years in prison for rape of Meriden 10-year-old

Waterbury man sentenced to 65 years in prison for rape of Meriden 10-year-old


Desmond James (Courtesy of the Meriden Police Department)

NEW HAVEN — A Waterbury man was sentenced to 65 years in prison after he was found guilty of climbing through an open window and raping a 10-year-old Meriden girl sleeping her bed.

Desmond James, aka Jose Gonzalez, of Waterbury, was charged in 2014 with home invasion, three counts of first-degree sexual assault and illegal sexual contact. He has been held in lieu of $1 million bond. In December, a jury found James guilty on all counts. He was sentenced to 65 years in prison on Friday in New Haven Superior Court.

About 3:30 a.m. on Oct. 15, 2014, James entered a home in the Center Street area through a window and sexually assaulted the girl in her bed, police said. Police identified James as a suspect based on DNA evidence and statements from the victim. He apparently did not know the girl or anyone else in the home.

Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Stacey Miranda and Deputy Assistant State’s Attorney Kelly Davis prosecuted the case. Public defender Thomas Ullman represented James.

James also faces charges of first-degree sexual assault and third-degree assault in a March 2012 incident. After James’ 2014 arrest was made public, a woman told police she recognized his photo and that “he was the individual who raped her when she was 19,” according to a statement released by Meriden police. That claim led police to reopen an investigation. A DNA sample from James matched a sample taken during an examination of the woman in the 2012 incident, according to police.

During the early morning hours of March 21, 2012, the woman was walking on East Main Street when a man began walking with her. After walking to the area of Foster, Lincoln and Colony streets, the man reportedly “forced her into a backyard and sexually assaulted her,” police said. The woman escaped and waved down a motorist on Colony Street.

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