MINEOLA, N.Y. (WPIX)—A judge sentenced a stepfather, charged with sexually abusing his now 17-year-old stepdaughter in the parking lot of his business last year, to a 12-year-prison term.
Harold Gopaul of Bellerose, Queens, was convicted on May 15 of 14 counts of first degree sexual abuse. Prosecutors say Gopaul will be forced to register as a sex offender once he is released from jail.
Kathleen Rice said that between the time periods of May 1 and June 20, Gopaul would pick up his stepdaughter at school in Queens, drive her to the parking lot of his pest extermination business in Manhasset and molest the girl in his work van.
In addition, Gopaul is under indictment for 51 felonies for sexually abusing the girl when she was 14. The highest charge he faces - criminal sexual act in the first degree - carries a possible sentence of up to 25 years behind bars.
"Words cannot describe neither the horrors this man committed, nor the bravery of his victim for coming forward," Rice said. "Her testimony ensured that this defendant will pay dearly for his crimes. I only hope his incarceration brings her some semblance of peace."