Newark man and Union woman arrested for sexual assault and exploitation of a minor

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UNION, NJ — A Newark man and Union woman have been arrested after being criminally charged with the sexual exploitation of a 14-year-old female, Union County Prosecutor William A. Daniel announced Dec. 1.

Rony D. Game-Palacios, 30, of Newark, is charged with second-degree sexual assault and third-degree endangering the welfare of a child, and Valdirene Nogueira, 45, of Union, is charged with first-degree promoting prostitution of a child, third-degree promoting prostitution, third-degree compelling another to engage in prostitution and second-degree endangering the welfare of a child. 

In September, the Union County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit received a referral from the Union Police Department regarding the reported sexual assault of a 14-year-old female. According to law enforcement, the investigation that followed revealed that the victim was sexually assaulted by Game-Palacios after Nogueira coerced the teen to have sex with Game-Palacios for money after plying her with alcohol, according to Assistant Prosecutor Peter Benza, who is prosecuting the case.

This remains an active investigation, and anyone with information about this matter or these defendants is urged to contact Special Victims Unit Detective Jessica Tattoli at 908-965-3885 or Detective Sgt. Nicholas Veltre at 908-965-3812.

Convictions on first-degree crimes are commonly punishable by terms of up to 20 years in state prison. Convictions on second-degree criminal charges are punishable by five to 10 years and those on third-degree crimes can result in three to five years.

These criminal charges are accusations. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proved guilty in a court of law.