Jury finds Providence man guilty of multiple counts of child molestation


PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha today announced that a Providence man was found guilty in Providence County Superior Court of multiple counts of child molestation against a female victim under the age of 14 between 2013 and 2019.


On September 28, 2022, following the conclusion of a seven-day jury trial before Superior Court Justice Stephen P. Nugent, the jury found Jose Lantigua (age 61) guilty of one count of first-degree child molestation and one count of second-degree child molestation. The jury returned the verdict after approximately three and one-half hours of deliberation.


The defendant is currently being held without bail at the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI) pending a sentencing hearing scheduled for December 13, 2022, in Providence County Superior Court.


“It is impossible to capture in words the degree of harm the defendant caused the little girl he sexually assaulted here. His criminal conduct would have caused devastating harm to her had it happened once. Here it happened on multiple occasions, over a series of many years. Yet this little girl stood up, came forward, and ultimately did an extraordinarily brave thing: she confronted her accuser and brought him to justice,” said Attorney General Neronha.  “I am enormously grateful to her, and her family, because they have ensured that he will no longer be in a position to harms others. I am also grateful to Providence Police Detective Koren Garcia, who has dedicated much of her career to protecting children, for her continued outstanding work in this case.”


During the trial, the State proved beyond a reasonable doubt that between 2013 and 2019, the defendant sexually assaulted a girl under the age of 14, who was known to him, multiple times at a home in Providence.


“I commend the young victim in this case for coming forward and exhibiting great courage throughout the investigation and prosecution of this case,” said Steven M. Paré, Providence Commissioner of Public Safety. “These cases have a profound impact on so many connected to the victim, whether it be family or the greater community. I thank the members of the Providence Police Department and the Office of the Attorney General who worked diligently on this case to ensure that justice was served.”


“Cases involving the sexual exploitation of children are some of the most heartbreaking that are investigated by the men and women of the Providence Police Department,” said Providence Police Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr. “Our thoughts are with the victim and her loved ones at this time, and hope that this verdict can bring a sense of justice to them, following their traumatic experience.”


Assistant Attorney General Shannon Signore and Special Assistant Attorney General Ariel Pittner of the Office of the Attorney General and Detective Koren Garcia of the Providence Police Department led the investigation and prosecution of the case.