Stepfather to make sex assault pleas today

A 39-year-old pizza cook facing a sexual assault charges after impregnating his 12-year-old stepdaughter, will return to state Superior Court in Stamford today and is expected to make a plea to his charges.

Leonel Bartolo Rodriguez was arraigned in state Superior Court in Stamford a week ago after he was extradited from New York, where a family relative reported the assault to police, according to Stamford police.

Rodriguez, a native of Guatemala who was employed at a Hope Street restaurant, was also charged with one count of risk of injury to a minor.

Police said the girl told her mother earlier this month that she was not feeling well and experiencing cramps. When her mother took her to a doctor, it was determined she was pregnant, and the doctor notified the state Department of Children and Families. The girl was reluctant to disclose any information about the pregnancy at the time, police said.

A day later, the girl traveled with Rodriguez and her mother to visit an aunt in Queens, police said. During the visit, the girl told the aunt that her stepfather had molested her on several occasions and caused the pregnancy.

The aunt called New York City police and Rodriguez was taken into custody. New York City police notified Stamford police on July 19 and an investigation was immediately launched involving the State’s Attorney’s Office, the Child Guidance Center’s Sexual Abuse Response Team and DCF.