West Haven man gets prison for sex abuse of girl

Jose O. Guadarrama, 31, was sent to prison Monday for the sexual abuse of a child who is a relative.

“He took away my childhood,” the victim told Superior Court Judge Frank Iannotti.

The abuse was “almost daily,” she told the judge, and “started when I was 5.”

Guadarrama, of West Haven, was sentenced to serve 18 years, suspended after eight years, with five years mandatory minimum, and 20 years of probation.

He risks having to serve the full 18 years if he violates the conditions of his probation after his release.

Milford State’s Attorney Kevin D. Lawlor praised the victim’s courage for standing up to the defendant and facing the judicial process.

She gets “all the credit in the world for being so intelligent and so brave for going forward,” Lawlor said.

Guadarrama subjected the girl to a multitude of sexual acts and twice took her to the Econo Lodge in West Haven, Lawlor said.

He was arrested in 2017 by West Haven police detectives with the Special Victims Unit, after a four-month investigation, the Register reported at the time.

New Haven police initially had alerted West Haven of incidents in both cities, and West Haven detectives got the arrest warrant, the Register reported.

Guadarrama will be labeled a sex offender for the rest of his life, Iannotti said.

He entered court Monday with guilty pleas, and with no explanation.

Guadarrama said he sincerely apologizes for the wrong he had done. “No words, no actions” can fix the damage, he told the judge.

“I hope and pray she moves forward. I deserve this punishment ... and vow never to repeat this.”

The victim stood at the prosecution table facing the judge. Her mother and the state’s victim advocate were on each side, hugging her.

Quietly, slowly, she read from a prepared statement. Guadarrama had told her he was “attracted to smaller children.”

“I’m not the only one,” the girl said.

Her mother told Iannotti that Guadarrama is a monster. “He robbed her of her childhood and he took her innocence.”

To Guadarrama, without looking at him, she said, “I cannot forgive you for what you have done and needless to say I cannot forget. You are no longer my (relative.)”

West Haven police charged Guadarrama on Feb. 21, 2017, with two counts of first-degree sexual assault on a child less than 13 years, from incidents in 2014.

She had been abused from age 5 to 12, Lawlor said.

Lawlor had asked Iannotti to impose the maximum, 20 years. Lawlor said he was “kind of dumbstruck” that the defendant would not participate in the pre-sentencing investigation.

“The defendant presented no information that could lead to a lesser sentence,” Lawlor told the judge. “This is a person who we now know nothing about.”

Without a pre-sentencing report, Iannotti told Guadarrama, the only “credit” he has earned is the guilty plea, sparing the young woman the “torture” of the trial.

“You’ve got a long way to come back,” Iannotti said. Guadarrama had inflicted “tremendous hurt” on the girl, Iannotti told him. “I hope the young lady can get beyond it.”

“It’s going to affect her forever,” he told Guadarrama. “That’s a choice you made.”

Guadarrama’s attorney, Angelica Papastavros of New Haven, explained his decision concerning the pre-sentencing investigation: He acted on advice of counsel.

“He wanted to save the young lady from testifying at trial. He wanted to spare his family the pain.”

“He’s always acted younger than his years,” she told the judge.

As background, she said her client had finished technical school, was working at Yale University, and helping around the house.

“His remorse is beyond what the family actually believes,” Papastavros said. She asked the judge to impose a six-year sentence as her client took responsibility for this actions.

The terms of his probation include: no contact with the victim or the victim’s mother; no contact with minors, including family members; and sex offender treatment.

Guadarrama had been held at Cheshire Correctional Institution since his arrest in lieu of $450,000 bail and listed on the Connecticut VINE, victim information and notification service.