Jan. 30, 2020
Essex County Jury Convicts Man of Sexually Assaulting Girl for Years
Newark – Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens, II, announced today that Roberto Grillo, 40, of Bloomfield was convicted by an Essex County jury of sexually assaulting a girl from the age of 12 to 16.
Following a trial before the Honorable Martin G. Cronin, Judge of the Superior Court, the jury deliberated for less than a day before convicting Grillo on all 12 counts — six counts of endangering the welfare of a child, four counts of aggravated sexual assault and two counts of sex assault.
Sentencing is scheduled for March 27 before Judge Cronin. Grillo faces up to 105 years in New Jersey State Prison. He is already serving 55 years in prison for murder. In December 2018, he was convicted of first-degree murder in Union County for killing Yolanda Vega, a 35-year-old Rahway mother of two.
“The victim suffered years of torment at the hands of this defendant. She has found justice today,’’ said Assistant Prosecutor Michael Morris, who tried the sexual assault case.
According to testimony at trial, the sexual assault began when the girl was 12 and continued until she was 16 years old. It took place in various locations, including the Belleville McDonald’s parking lot. When the defendant learned he was wanted, he fled to Tampa, Fla., where he tried unsuccessfully to commit suicide. He was subsequently returned to New Jersey on March 25, 2015 to face charges.