Manchester Police arrested a 26-year old Manchester man last week and charged him with 20 counts of sexual assault on a minor, risk of injury to a minor and the illegal delivery of alcohol to a minor after police say he began an intimate relationship with a 14-year old girl.
According to statements provided to police, Eric Art Rodriguez, of Manchester, met an underaged girl several months ago while working at the Home Depot on Buckland Hills Drive. The underaged victim, who told police she was 14 at the time she started seeing Rodriguez, said that Rodriguez would often pick her up at her East Hartford home late at night after her parents went to bed, and the two would drive around in Rodriguez's car and often have sex.
The victim told police that Rodriguez would give her marijuana and alcohol when they hung out, and that they had consensual sex with one another multiple times in his car, in Center Springs Park and on a hiking trail behind Kohl's on Tolland Turnpike in town. The victim told police that she informed Rodriguez that she was only 14 years old when they first started seeing each other.
Rodriguez corroborated the unidentified victim's story, but said that the girl told him she was 18 or 19. Although the victim told police that Rodriguez once confided in her that he expected police to be waiting for him at her parents house when he dropped her off, which police said indicated that Rodriguez knew what he was doing with the girl was wrong. Rodriguez told police that he and the victim had sex an estimated 20 times.
Rodriguez is facing 20 counts each of risk of injury to a minor, second-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor and is being held on a $20,000 bond. Rodriguez is also facing similar charges in East Hartford. He is scheduled to appear in court on the charges on Jan. 3, 2013.