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Man will serve up to 40 years in prison for 2007 rape of child in Lancaster

Pablo Cotto-Martinez was extradited from Puerto Rico to face charges in the Lancaster case. He was convicted in February.
Credit: Lancaster County District Attorney's Office
Pablo Cotto-Martinez

LANCASTER, Pa. — A Puerto Rico native will serve up to 40 years in prison after being convicted of rape of a child and other offenses relating to the sexual assault of a 5-year-old child in 2007, the Lancaster County District Attorney's Office said Thursday.

Pablo Cotto-Martinez, 48, of Guayama, PR, was convicted in February of rape of a child, statutory sexual assault, unlawful contact with minors, and three other offenses and was sentenced to a prison term of 20 to 40 years at a hearing on Wednesday, according to the DA's office.

The incident occurred in a home on the 600 block of South Prince Street in 2007, prosecutors said. 

Lancaster City Bureau of Police Detective Heather Halstead filed charges after discovering the offense through an interview with the juvenile victim in January of 2020.

Charges were filed and Cotto-Martinez was arrested in Puerto Rico and extradited to Lancaster to face trial in February of 2020. 

Assistant District Attorney Karen Mansfield brought up during sentencing the fact that the defendant pleaded guilty to assaulting two other victims in Puerto Rico, for which he served eight years in prison, after the incident that occurred in Lancaster. 

“He’s a monster, a danger to society, and should be put in jail for as long as possible," Mansfield said of Cotto-Martinez at the hearing. 

Lancaster County Judge Jeffery Wright presided over trial and ordered the maximum sentence of 20-40 years, mentioning society needed to be protected from the defendant’s predatory behavior.

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