A Riverhead man is facing multiple felony sex offense charges after his indictment by a Suffolk County grand jury for allegedly sexually abusing a child, Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sini announced today.

Jose Samuel Carabantes Pineda, 35, is charged with Predatory Sexual Assault Against a Child, a class A-II felony; two counts of Criminal Sexual Act in the First Degree, a class B felony; Course of Sexual Conduct Against a Child in the First Degree, a class B felony; and Endangering the Welfare of a Child, a class A misdemeanor, according to a press release from the district attorney.

On March 20, Carabantes Pineda allegedly drove the victim to the parking lot of the Big Lots store on Route 58, restrained her with duct tape in the back of his minivan and sexually assaulted her, according to the press release. A good Samaritan in the parking lot heard screaming coming from the vehicle, knocked on the windows, then observed the defendant get into the driver’s seat and pull away. The good Samaritan called 911 and provided information about the vehicle to police, and attempted to follow the minivan.

Carabantes Pineda returned to his home, made the victim get into a different vehicle and drove around while telling the victim what she should say to the police if they were called, according to the indictment. When they arrived back at the house, Riverhead Town Police were already present and arrested Carabantes Pineda.

Carabantes Pineda is alleged to have sexually assaulted the girl on several occasions since the fall of 2020.

“This individual allegedly subjected a child to months of sexual abuse,” Sini said.

“Thanks to the bravery of the victim, the heroic act of the good Samaritan who intervened, and the swift actions of the Riverhead Town Police Department, this alleged predator was apprehended,” Sini said. “My office will do everything in our power to hold him accountable for these heinous acts.”

Carabantes Pineda was arraigned on the indictment in front of Suffolk County Acting Supreme Court Justice Chris Ann Kelley today and was remanded without bail. He is being represented by the Legal Aid Society and is due back in court on April 13.

If convicted of the top count, Carabantes Pineda faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison.

Editor’s note: A criminal charge is an accusation. By law, a person charged with a crime is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

Support local journalism.
Now more than ever, the survival of quality local journalism depends on your support. Our community faces unprecedented economic disruption, and the future of many small businesses are under threat, including our own. It takes time and resources to provide this service. We are a small family-owned operation, and we will do everything in our power to keep it going. But today more than ever before, we will depend on your support to continue. Support RiverheadLOCAL today. You rely on us to stay informed and we depend on you to make our work possible.