Saratoga County child sex abuser sentenced to eight years in prison

Thursday, December 20, 2012
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— A Porter Corners man who sexually abused two girls from the time they were grade-schoolers was sentenced today to eight years in state prison.

Michael Santiago, 42, of North Greenfield Road, formerly of Ash Street in Saratoga Springs, was sentenced in Saratoga County Court to four years for each girl, to run consecutively. He was convicted by a jury of two counts of felony course of sexual conduct against a child.

After Santiago gets out of prison, he will serve 10 years of post-release supervision and will have to register as a sex offender.

The girls are now 18 and 17, but Santiago started having sexual contact with them in 2001, when they were 7 and 6. The abuse continued until each girl was 12.

They only recently talked about the abuse, a disclosure that one of the girls said she made because “I just couldn’t hold it in any longer,” according to the Saratoga County District Attorney’s Office.

Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Buckley pushed for consecutive sentences in the case and praised the teens for their courage. Since they have come forward about the crimes committed against them, the girls have become more self-confident, Buckley said.

The girls knew each other and knew Santiago, but neither knew he was abusing the other.

In court before the sentencing, one of the girls told Santiago she struggles to “find happiness in the things other young people have taken for granted because of what you have done to me. It has taken my whole youth to gain confidence in myself and the people who have loved me all along.”

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