PLAINVILLE - A Bloomfield man was sentenced to a year in prison on Wednesday after using drugs with two teens who ran away from a local group home.
Jose Cosme, 32, pleaded guilty to one count of risk of injury to a minor during a hearing in Bristol Superior Court. In exchange, one count of first-degree failure to appear was dropped.
Cosme was sentenced to five years in prison, suspended after service of one year, and three years’ probation. During probation, he has been ordered not to initiate contact with anyone under 16 years old, with the exception of family members.
According to court papers, Cosme was first arrested on the risk of injury charge last February. He was then arrested again in September after not showing up to a court hearing on June 8.
According to the arrest warrant, two girls, ages 16 and 14, ran away from a group home on Dec. 23, 2016. They were considered high-risk runaways because they had previously been victims of human trafficking, the document said.
The girls met Cosme in Hartford and went with him to a Bristol home, where the three allegedly took Molly - methylenedioxy-methamphetaminea (MDMA) - a psychoactive drug that alters one's mood and perception.
According to the warrant, the 16-year-old girl at some point left Cosme, and the 14-year-old and was later found in Middletown on Dec. 30, 2016.
The 14-year-old girl allegedly remained with Cosme for nearly two weeks. During that time, police said, he ignored a phone call and voice mail from police after officers received information indicating he could be with the missing teen.
On Wednesday, Cosme said he was under the false impression that the girls were running away from a situation in which they were being sexually abused, and that he was just trying to protect them from someone with “less than honorable motives.” He also said he takes responsibility for his misguided actions.
“I had no intentions of trying to harm these kids,” Cosme said.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or email@example.com.