Chicago, IL – A man who repeatedly sexually assaulted three young girls has rationalized his crime by claiming that he considered himself to be a child, “trapped” in the body of an adult man.
Joseph Roman, 38, has been charged with predatory criminal sexual assault, after he victimized two 6-year-old girls and one 8-year-old girl over a period of more than two years, the Chicago Tribune reported.
During a Jan. 24 court hearing, prosecutors said Roman admitted to some of his offenses, and that he explained to police that “he is a 9-year-old trapped in an adult’s body.”
Roman was a family friend of the girls he attacked, police said.
Each of the victims belonged to different families who temporarily resided with him, The Washington Times reported.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Roman initially began assaulting one of the victims in August of 2015, when the girl’s family moved into his home for 10 weeks. She was just six years old.
Investigators learned that Roman assaulted the girl on a regular basis while her other family members were asleep, and that the abuse continued until December, 2017.
A second victim also was sexually assaulted when her family moved in with Roman in October of 2016. She was eight years old at the time.
Police said that the girl’s mother left her and two younger children in Roman’s care while she worked night shifts. On one occasion, he occupied the girl’s younger siblings with a cell phone video while he sexually abused her in the same room, prosecutors said.
The abuse continued after the family moved out of Roman’s home, according to prosecutors.
Roman assaulted his third known victim, who was six years old, as she slept at his residence. Her abuse began in January of 2017, and continued for a year.
After Roman attacked the child again on Jan. 6, he was confronted by her family, as well as the family of one of the other victims.
Roman was subsequently arrested, and made his admissions to investigators on Jan. 22, prosecutors said.
Information explaining why the families had resided with Roman was not available.