FALL RIVER — A 43-year-old Fall River man convicted at trial last year for raping his pre-teen relative on numerous occasions was sentenced to serve 20-30 years in state prison yesterday, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.

Paul Fagundes was convicted after a week-long trial late last October on indictments charging him with rape of a child with force, aggravated statutory rape, rape of a child, assault and battery, threats and two counts of indecent assault and battery on a person under the age of 14.

The sentencing was delayed due to post-trial defense motions and the COVID-19 statewide shutdowns.

The defendant was convicted of sexually abusing the child for approximately six years, between 2006 and 2012, resulting in serious emotional trauma. The defendant told the victim he would kill her if she ever told anyone about the abuse. However, the victim eventually disclosed the years of sexual abuse to her mother in 2017, which resulted in the defendant's arrest in July of that year.​

The case was prosecuted by Second Assistant District Attorney Silvia Rudman and the 20-to-30-year state prison term was imposed by Judge Renee Dupuis. In addition to the prison term, Judge Dupuis also ordered the defendant to be placed on supervised probation for an additional 10 years upon his release from prison.

“I am very pleased the jury convicted the defendant of deplorable acts of sexual abuse against a young child. He took advantage of his access to the child and committed acts of sexual abuse that became more violent over time," District Attorney Quinn said. "​At trial, he claimed that the child lied. He deserved the lengthy sentence imposed by the court for this despicable conduct. I commend the victim for coming forward, which is especially difficult when it involves a family member who is the abuser.”

— Bristol County District Attorney’s Office

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