NEWARK, NJ — Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II announced April 14 that Diego Ayala, 35, of Newark, has been sentenced to 25 years in New Jersey State Prison for sexually assaulting an 8-year-old girl and filming the crime.
The sentence was imposed by Superior Court Judge Christopher S. Romanyshyn. Under the terms of a plea agreement, Ayala must serve the entire 25 years before he is eligible for parole.
Ayala pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree aggravated sexual assault of a victim under the age of 13 and one count of first-degree endangering the welfare of a child. When he entered his guilty plea, Ayala admitted to sexually assaulting the 8-year-old victim and filming the sexual assaults of the victim on his cellphone.
The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit, with assistance from the Newark Police Department, investigated the case.
Assistant Prosecutor Nicole Buermann, who handled the case, said “We want to thank the courageous young victim for coming forward and we hope this sentence will provide some sense of healing and closure.”
Ayala will be required to serve the entire 25-year sentence pursuant to the Jessica Lunsford Act and additionally was sentenced to parole supervision for life and will be required to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law.