East Hampton Town police charged Christopher Paul Gallegos of East Hampton, 20, with second-degree rape and sexual misconduct, felonies, on Friday, in a case involving a then-14-year-old girl. Police said he had carried on a six-month relationship with the teen last year, which continued after she turned 15. The relationship ended when the girl’s parents discovered a selfie she had sent to Mr. Gallegos. The two were said to have met socially in East Hampton.
The first incident, according to the charges, happened last summer when the alleged victim was 14 and Mr. Gallegos was 19, in a vehicle parked at the Maidstone Park lot in Springs. The three incidents underlying the charges all occurred at deserted beach parking lots, police said.
Mr. Gallegos was also charged with four misdemeanors — two counts of sexual misconduct and two of acting in a manner injurious to a child — stemming from later encounters; one from last Halloween, the other in March, both after the girl turned 15.
The girl’s parents contacted police last month, Detective Sgt. Greg Schaefer said Tuesday. Detectives picked up Mr. Gallegos for questioning on Friday morning, and charged him shortly after. He was arraigned that afternoon before East Hampton Town Justice Lisa R. Rana, who set bail at $2,000, which was met.
Although the girl reportedly told police she never felt coerced, individuals ages 16 or younger in New York State are not legally able to consent to sexual activity. The charge of second-degree rape carries a possible prison sentence of seven years.