The most serious charges the four are facing are rape and committing a criminal sexual act in the first degree, both considered violent felonies with mandatory prison time if convicted. The identity of the female victim, who is younger than 17, is being withheld due to her age and the nature of the charged crimes.
Refugio Saldivar, 31, has been charged with rape in the first degree and sexual abuse in the first degree. Bail was set at $500,000 Thursday morning during his arraignment in Southampton Town Justice Court in front of Town Justice Andrea Schiavoni.
Marco Saldivar, 35, is facing two charges of committing a criminal sex act in the first degree, as well as sexual abuse in the first degree. Bail was set at $300,000. According to his attorney, Brian DeSesa, there is an outstanding warrant from Immigration and Customs Enforcement for Marco Saldivar.
Felix Saldivar, 72, is charged with one count of sexual abuse in the first degree, as is Miguel Saldivar, 38. Bail for those two is $100,000. None of the men immediately made bail and were taken to county jail in Riverside.
“We are looking forward to our day in court, and clearing his name,” DeSesa said about Marco Saldivar. Because all four men are co-defendants, each is required, by law, to be represented by a different attorney. DeSesa was appointed by the court to defend Marco Saldivar, under a program called 18B, which guarantees strong legal representation for every co-defendant. Two other private attorneys were appointed, with the Legal Aid Society representing the fourth.
A fifth man with the same last name, Gregorio Saldivar, 41, pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree rape and sexual abuse at his arraignment on Friday, June 8. Saldivar, who needed an interpreter, entered the courtroom wearing blue jeans and a black dress shirt and scanned the left side of the courtroom to look for family members.
Assistant District Attorney Dana Castaldo said Saldivar admitted to raping the girl, noting in his statement to investigators, that he had a “moment of weakness” and began to rub her body, placed his fingers inside her, and then raped her. Saldivar, who has a detainer placed on him by ICE, was ordered held without bail by Justice Gary Weber. Weber also approved an order of protection to prevent Saldivar from contacting the victim.
His attorney, Keith O’Halloran of Hauppauge, said he did not know where Saldivar lived and declined to comment on the case.
The arresting agency, Southampton Town Police, also declined comment on the case.
Under the law, the district attorney’s office has until Tuesday, June 12, to obtain an indictment from a grand jury against the men, or they will all have to be released. All five men are scheduled to appear again in court on that date.
Peggy Spellman Hoey contributed additional reporting to this story.