A Port Chester man accused of having a sexual relationship with a girl half his age will return to court Monday for a hearing.
Valentine Guandique, 29, was arrested July 30 after the victim's mother learned of the year-long relationship Guandique had with her daughter, Port Chester police said.
The young girl, who is now 14 years old, told a friend about her relationship with Guandique, Lt. James Ladeairous said. Guandique, a Guatemalan native, lived with the victim and her mother in their Seymour Road home. The friend was alarmed and told the girl's mother, who waited for Guandique to return from work at 6 p.m. on July 30 and called police.
When police arrived, Guandique admitted to having sex with the girl, and told officers the year-long relationship -- which began when the victim was 13 -- was consensual. Police brought Guandique to headquarters and interviewed the victim separately. She told detectives she had feelings for the 29-year-old and said she was not forced into the relationship.
Ladeairous said Port Chester police have handled similar cases in the past, and almost uniformly, the suspects maintain they aren't doing anything wrong. Police believe the cultural and criminal law differences in South American countries are partly to blame for such attitudes.
"He looks at it as, she accepted it, but she can't accept it," Ladeairous said, noting criminal law in the U.S. does not recognize consent in sexual abuse cases involving minors.
Guandique was charged with felony second-degree rape, and an order of protection has been issued preventing him from having further contact with the victim.
The Port Chester man was in court Monday for a preliminary hearing, and is scheduled to return to court next Monday. He was sent back to Westchester County Jail, with bail set at $5,000.