A man charged with allegedly kidnapping and sexually abusing a five-year-old girl he offered to babysit has reportedly been indicted by a grand jury, according to reports.
D.A. press contacts told Our Town that “The People filed a certificate of affirmative Grand Jury action, indicating that the defendant has been indicted.” ABC7 News reported that the charges included kidnapping, predatory sex assault against a child, and endangering the welfare of a child.
However, prosecutors refused to confirm the exact charges until Franz Vila, 75, is formally arraigned at the Supreme Court. The D.A.’s office did note that his next scheduled court date is on September 19.
The same outlet reported that the mother of the child was initially charged with “endangering the welfare” of her daughter, but that prosecutors at the Queen’s District Attorney office have since declined to press the matter pending further investigation.
Police told the press that Vila had initially approached the girl and her mother at the Food Town Supermarket on 37th Ave. in Queens, allegedly offering to take the girl to a park that she was begging to visit. It was reportedly around 9 a.m. on Tuesday, August 22. She resumed her shopping, while the girl and the older man were reportedly captured on CCTV cameras exiting the store.
The mother, who said that she knew Vila and let him spend time around her daughter before, conceded. She even told The Daily News that Vila had visited her home before and that things had gone as far as “finding the Manhattan man in the shower with her little girl,” and that he “had asked her to remove her clothes and told the mother to dress her without underwear.”
Police allege that instead of going to the park, Vila took the child back to his residence on E. 97th St. in Manhattan and sexually abused her. After realizing that her daughter wasn’t at the park, the mother reported her missing around 1 p.m. A NYPD manhunt for the girl concluded at about 4:30 p.m. after she was found on the subway platform at the 74th St. and Roosevelt Ave. station, where she was still reportedly in the company of Vila. He was arrested at the scene.