NEW BRITAIN – After trying to avoid sentencing during a court appearance Wednesday, a city man was ordered to serve nine years in prison for his involvement in the gang rape of a 14-year-old girl.
Miguel Pagan, 23, of Ridgewood Street, was arrested in May 2017 after a 14 year-old girl told police she was locked up in a basement recording studio at 184 Clark St. for six days the month prior. Pagan, who she called “Wookie,” used a gun and a knife to keep her there, she said.
While she was being held, the girl said Pagan allowed seven others to repeatedly rape her and attempted to force her to do other sex acts. Pagan also raped the girl, she told investigating officers. She was drugged with “Molly,” a synthetic drug that alters the mood and perception of users, during some of the attacks, police reports said.
Pagan stated several times in court Wednesday that he wanted to withdraw his plea and go to trial, claiming that his DNA was not “in” the victim, but state prosecutor Helen McLellan said Pagan had given a full confession to having intercourse with the girl.
Pagan also said his previous attorney, public defender Michael Isko, had “railroaded” him into taking the deal, and questioned why the others hadn’t been arrested after saying he wouldn’t snitch on them just prior to the question.
“I don’t want to get sentenced,” Pagan said. “(I don’t) want to take the time for something I didn’t do.”
After hearing arguments from both Pagan’s current attorney, William Paetzold, and McLellan, Judge Marueen Keegan decided there were no grounds to withdraw the sentence.
Keegan said the sentence was appropriate before she imposed it.
Pagan received 20 years in prison, suspended after nine years, and 20 years probation after previously pleading guilty under the Alford doctrine to illegal sexual contact with a victim and risk of injury to a child. An Alford plea is when a defendant doesn’t agree with all the facts but pleads guilty to take a deal and avoid going to trial, where a harsher sentence can be imposed if found guilty. Pagan could’ve received a maximum of 20 years in prison, Keegan said.
Among several other conditions, Pagan must comply with 10 years of sex offender registry requirements, have no contact with anyone under the age of 16 and stay away from places where children hang out, such as pools, parks or shopping malls, Keegan said. He is to have no contact with the victim through the year 2099.
Police in 2018 arrested Raequann Shuff, 22, of Manchester, in the case, but it was not immediately clear if others had been arrested. Shuff’s case is still pending in New Britain Superior Court and he is due back on Nov. 7.
Charles Paullin can be reached at 860-801-5074 or email@example.com.