Pawtucket man sentenced to life in prison for child molestation

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced that a Pawtucket man was sentenced in Providence County Superior Court to a life sentence at the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI) after being found guilty of committing multiple counts of child molestation against a female victim under the age of 14 from 2012 to 2018.


On March 7, 2022, following the conclusion of a six-day trial before Superior Court Justice Daniel A. Procaccini, a jury found Milton Aponte (age 43) guilty of one count of first-degree child molestation, three counts of second-degree child molestation, and one count of simple assault. The jury reached their verdict following approximately four hours of deliberation.


At a hearing on August 24, 2022, before Judge Procaccini, the Court sentenced the defendant to life at the ACI, plus an additional 20 years to serve for violating a previously imposed sentence.


“Sexual assaults against children at the hands of a ‘trusted’ adult remain an ongoing, devastating problem in Rhode Island – we have charged more than 400 such cases over the last five years alone,” said Attorney General Neronha. “Yet we are reminded time and time again that behind that astounding number, in every case, is a child, one child, who has had the courage to come forward and confront someone who has violated them in a devastating way. In this case, a very brave child spoke up, and in doing so has ensured that this defendant will be unable to victimize anyone else ever again. All of us owe her and her family a lasting debt of gratitude. I am also grateful to the men and women of the Pawtucket Police Department, who time and time again deliver justice for victims through their outstanding police work.”


During the trial, the State proved beyond a reasonable doubt that between 2012 and 2018, the defendant sexually assaulted a female victim under the age of 14, who was known to him, at several locations in Pawtucket.


The victim came forward in 2018, and investigators from the Pawtucket Police Department determined that the victim had been abused multiple times from the ages of 8 to 12.


“Cases such as these are devastating for the victim and difficult for the community. However, I want to thank the whole team who has worked on this case and the willingness of the victim to come forward as we worked to investigate this terrible crime,” said Acting Public Safety Director Chief Tina Goncalves. “The Pawtucket Police Department and Attorney General’s Office were dedicated to this case and spent countless hours on investigation and prosecution of the defendant.”


Assistant Attorney General Shannon Signore and Special Assistant Attorney General Alison Bittl of the Office of the Attorney General and Detectives Ray Doran (Ret.), Carrie Hormanski, and Jonathan Gagnon of the Pawtucket Police Department led the investigation and prosecution of the case.