Man Charged in Rape Of 13-Year-Old Girl

By Michael Rothfeld

April 20, 2003

A Uniondale man was arrested Friday and charged with raping a 13-year-old girl at his home early last month, Nassau police said yesterday.

Gregorio Rios, 33, of 389 Greengrove Ave., was arrested at 7 p.m. by Det. Robert Dunn of the Special Victims Squad. Rios was arrested while working as a busboy at Cafe Girasole, a restaurant on Oyster Bay Road in East Norwich, police and relatives said.

According to a police news release, Rios picked up the victim on March 3 at noon and drove her to his home, where he raped her. He then drove her to her home, police said. Police said she told them about the alleged attack.

Rios was arraigned in First District Court in Hempstead yesterday on a charge of second-degree rape. He pleaded not guilty and was being held at the Nassau County jail after failing to post bail of $50,000 bond or $25,000 cash. An order of protection also was issued for the alleged victim.

Rios' relatives said yesterday they knew he'd been arrested because his brother Alex also was working in the restaurant when police came for Rios. But they did not know the reason for the arrest until informed by a reporter yesterday, and they expressed disbelief that Rios could be guilty of rape.

"It could be someone that wants to hurt him," Antonio Rios of Hempstead, another brother, said in Spanish.

"I've never known him to be involved in something like this," said Antonio Rios' wife, Vasti Sanchez.

Rios, a native of Honduras, came to the United States about 17 years ago with his five siblings, Antonio Rios said. He has worked in restaurants, as a waiter and busboy, and was divorced about three years ago. His former wife lives in Arizona with their two young sons, his relatives said.

Relatives said Rios was imprisoned for several months last year, but the reason was not clear yesterday.

A Nassau County police spokeswoman said investigators familiar with the case were not working yesterday and were unavailable to provide any additional information.
Copyright 2003, Newsday, Inc.