Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney File photo: Alek Lewis

A Flanders man was found guilty today in the sexual abuse and attempted rape of his nine-year-old niece, according to Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond Tierney. 

The 33-year-old man, whose name is being withheld to protect the identity of the victim, was found guilty by jury of first degree attempted rape, first degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child, according to a press release from the district attorney’s office. He faces up to 15 years in prison and 15 years of post-release supervision, according to the DA. 

“This defendant took advantage of the innocence of his young niece while her parents were momentarily out of the house. I thank the jury for their verdict of guilt, which ensures that the defendant will be held accountable for his vile crime,” Tierney said in the release. “We recognize the great difficulty that sexual assault victims face in coming forward, especially minors, so my office is equipped with specially trained prosecutors, victim advocates, and a facility dog who are dedicated to helping seek justice in these cases.”

Tierney’s office said evidence at the trial established that on Dec. 19, 2021, the nine-year-old victim was left sleeping at her home while her parents took the family dog to the veterinarian. The victim’s uncle, who rented a room in the home, asked the child if she wanted her back scratched and then sexually abused her, the press release states.

The victim told her parents what had occurred after they arrived back to the home, and she was taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center for a sexual assault forensic examination, the press release states. An analysis of the victim’s undergarments found the presence of the man’s DNA and he was arrested by the Southampton Police Department, the press release states.

The defendant is due back in court for sentencing on Feb. 27.

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Alek Lewis is a lifelong Riverhead resident and a 2021 graduate of Stony Brook University’s School of Communication and Journalism. Previously, he served as news editor of Stony Brook’s student newspaper, The Statesman, and was a member of the campus’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Email: alek@riverheadlocal.com