A city man and a woman have been charged in connection with the death of a three-year-old girl who authorities believe was sexually assaulted, according to the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office.
Jonathan Almodovar, 30, and Damarius Lawson, 33, were initially arrested on January 20, 2016 as a result of an investigation by the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit.
Almodovar has been charged with murder, aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, and endangering the welfare of a child. Lawson is charged with aggravated manslaughter, endangering the welfare of a child, tampering with a witness, and tampering with physical evidence, according to authorities.
Almodovar and Lawson brought Lawson’s unresponsive three-year-old daughter to the emergency room at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center.
Doctors determined the girl had significant brain injury. An evaluation at the hospital concluded the child’s injuries were consistent with sexual assault, authorities said. She remained in critical condition until Tuesday, January 26, 2016 when the girl was pronounced dead at around $12:35 p.m.
A search of the victim’s home yielded potential evidence, authorities said. The investigation also uncovered Lawson tried to get a person to bear false witness.
Passaic County Superior Court Judge Justine Niccollai set bail of $2 million cash only for Almodovar.
Bail for Lawson is set at $1 million cash only.
Almodovar and Lawson face long prison sentences if found guilty of the charges, authorities said.