YONKERS, N.Y. (CBS 2) – A father and husband is now in jail, facing an attempted rape charge, after investigators said he schemed to have sex with a 10-year-old girl.
Police arrested the Dutchess County man in an underage sex sting, and they believe the alleged behavior may go back 30 years.
Someone was home at Robert Viggiano’s house in Fishkill, but no one would come to the door, reports CBS 2’s Lou Young.
His family, like the neighbors, may have been trying to absorb the news of his arrest for soliciting sex from a 10-year-old girl. The 47-year-old husband, father and upstate businessman was allegedly trolling for children on the seamy side of Yonkers.
Neighbors were understandably shocked.
“He’s a nice guy, I see his wife and everything, I see his kids,” Anthony Panissioli said. “They go to church – I’ve attended mass with them. She teaches religion over at St. Mary’s…and they’re always there.”
“We believe we have a strong case against him, including audio and video evidence,” Yonkers Police Commissioner Edmund Harnett said.
Yonkers police said they had a female officer wearing a wire during a six-week investigation.
The young undercover cop was working a drugs and guns case in the neighborhood when Viggiano allegedly popped up looking for sex with a child. She then started to play the part of a drug-addicted mother willing to sell her own daughter.
Her supervisors said it was the performance of a lifetime.
“I’ve been around undercovers during 30 years of policing, and this is some of the finest undercover work I’ve ever seen,” Commissioner Harnett said.
“There are aspects of this thing, this investigation, that happened, that kind of put her on the spot immediately,” Sgt. Michael Palaleo said. “She rolled with it. She did a great job.”
Police said Viggiano showed up with the precise payment that had been negotiated, as well as candy for the little girl with whom he allegedly expected to have sex.
Prosecutors are investigating whether there are any other victims. Viggiano is believed to have been a karate instructor, and he may have come in contact with children in the past.
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