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Staten Island man accused of abusing six young girls in a relative's foster home
Published: Thursday, June 21, 2012, 3:37 PM Updated: Friday, June 22, 2012, 1:23 AM
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Authorities say they've found three more young girls who allegedly were sexually abused by a West Brighton man while they were being cared for in his relative's foster home and day-care center.
Deveraler Lovelle Mark Jr., 23, was originally charged last month with preying upon three girls living in the West Brighton foster home and day-care center run by a female relation.
That tally, however, has grown to six victims based on an initial probe, said a law enforcement source. Authorities fear there may be more.
"We believe he also preyed on others," said the source, adding the investigation is continuing.
The source said the victims primarily ranged in age from 6 to 10 years old, although one was 14.
Mark was living for a time at the relative's home when he allegedly abused the girls, said the source.
A 19-count indictment unsealed Wednesday in state Supreme Court, St. George, accuses Mark of a slew of sexually-related charges. If convicted of the most serious, predatory sexual assault and predatory sexual assault against a child, Mark could land behind bars for life.
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According to court papers, most of the alleged incidents occurred between August 2009 and October 2010. However, the earliest alleged crimes date to September 2003, and some others took place between October 2007 and October 2009, said court documents.
The female relative ran a day-care center, in addition to caring for foster children, the source said.
The abuse came to light when one of the victims eventually spoke up to an adult, possibly a teacher, said the source. That spurred a police investigation, the source said, adding that another girl witnessed the abuse.
Mark also made incriminating statements, the source said.
Mark pleaded not guilty at his arraignment to five counts of predatory sexual assault against a child; four counts each of course of sexual conduct against a child and endangering a child's welfare; two counts each of rape and criminal sexual act -- formerly classified as sodomy -- and one count each of sexual abuse and predatory sexual assault.
He was remanded to jail and ordered back to court on July 16, said a spokesman for District Attorney Daniel Donovan.
His lawyer could not immediately be reached today for comment.
Prosecutors ask anyone with information related to the case to call Donovan's office at 718-876-6300.
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:35-40