Esteban A. Rodriguez, the 30-year-old Palm Coast resident and former Transportation Security Administration employee at Daytona Beach International Airport, pleaded no contest and was found guilty of raping and molesting his wife’s sister for several years, starting when she was in 6th grade. Rodriguez was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Rodriguez had faced life in prison for the four charges against him. On Oct. 15, he signed a no-contest plea, and on Nov. 12, Judge J. David Walsh sentenced him to the 15 years, followed by 15 years’ sex-offender probation. He is not eligible for early termination of probation, according to the plea agreement.
Rodriguez was arrested on Feb. 18 on two charges of rape of a minor between 12 and 18, lewd and lascivious molestation of a minor 12 to 18, and showing obscene materials to a minor. Rodriguez, according to his arrest report, had forced the girl to have oral sex with him, had forced her to pose nude so he could take pictures of her with his cell phone, and forced her to watch pornographic clips on his cell phone, “forcefully grabbing her by the back of the next when she tried to look away.” He also told her to lie to investigators and the Department of Children and Families, telling her to say the sex acts had taken place only within the last year, in hopes of lessening his eventual punishment.
He had been arrested and held on $260,000 bond, but had posted bail.
The previous story is below.
15-Year-Old Girl Reports Rapes and Abuse By Her Guardian’s Husband Over Several Years
Feb. 17, 2015–Esteban Alejandro Rodriguez, a 30-year-old resident of Palm Coast’s B-Section, is at the Flagler County jail on $260,000 bond this evening, according to the Flagler County Sheriff’s office, after a 15-year-old girl in his care reported to school authorities last week that he has been raping her or sexually abusing her since she was in 6th grade.
Rodriguez faces two counts of raping a minor older than 12 but younger than 18, by a person in familial or custodial authority, both first-degree felonies, one count of lewd and lascivious molestation of a minor, a second-degree felony, and one count of showing pornography to a minor, a third-degree felony. The sheriff’s office issued a news release announcing the arrest Tuesday evening, before Rodriguez’s booking had posted at the county jail. His warrant was signed today by Circuit Judge J. David Walsh. (The booking, once posted, indicated Rodriguez’s residence on Buffalo Plains Lane. He had previously lived on Brunswick Lane.)
Rodriguez’s charging affidavit alleges that the girl, whose direct relation to Rodriguez is redacted from the transcript, has been living in his care for years, along with two other girls, one age 5, the other age 3. The girl’s legal guardian is married to Rodriguez.
The teen-ager went to a teacher on Feb. 10 during school hours and disclosed what she reported as the abuse that had been taking place over the previous several years. She was interviewed by a Child Protection Team member on Monday (subsequent to the Department of Children and Families being notified), when she said the abuse and assaults started in 2012 and continued until this year.
The charging affidavit outlines a pattern of abuse that included allegations of forcible oral sex on two occasions, an act considered indistinguishable from rape under Florida law when non-consensual or involving an adult’s assault on a minor. Rodriguez on one occasion, the alleged victim told the Child Protective Team, once violently and lewdly pressed himself against her while pushing her over a headboard and whispering in her ear that “maybe one day” he would rape her.
Rodriguez, the victim said, forced her to fondle him “averaging twice a week” while he allegedly molested her during the same period, forced her to disrobe so he could take pictures of her with his cell phone, and forced her to watch adult pornography on his phone, “forcefully grabbing her by the back of the neck when she tried to look away,” the arrest report states.
Further, the girl told authorities, Rodriguez allegedly told her to lie to DCF and the police and say that inappropriate acts had taken place only within the last year, presumably under the false assumption that he would face less severe charges if the acts had taken place when she was 14 or older. The girl also provided a five-page narrative after authorities instructed her “to write her feelings and what happened” before the interview, in an attempt “to make her feel more comfortable.”
The girl’s guardian provided a statement, and Rodriguez himself consented to an interview by police, but those disclosures are redacted from the arrest report.