Tuesday, July 28, 2009

David Prongay Pleads Guilty to Sexual Assault

An Edison man admitted today that he sexually assaulted a member of the lacrosse team he coached and endangered the welfare of another girl he coached in softball in 2002.

David Prongay, 44, pleaded guilty to one count of sexual assault and one count of endangering the welfare of a child. He faces up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced in October.

Prongay told Superior Court Judge Frederick De Vesa in New Brunswick that he sexually assaulted a child between the ages of 13 and 16 between April 1, 2008, and Feb. 1, 2009.

Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Christi Bevacqua said Prongay assaulted the victim "multiple times."

Prongay admitted he "kissed" the second victim, who was 15 in 2002 when the incident occurred. Under questioning from the judge, Prongay admitted the kiss was for his own sexual gratification.

For five seasons, Prongay, a general contractor, was a volunteer coach for the Edison Lightning, a lacrosse team for seventh- and eighth-graders. He also had coached the Edison Angels, a recreational softball team, in 2002.

"We think it was a fair resolution that was struck to spare the victims from any more court proceedings," Bevacqua said after the plea hearing. "The victims are very pleased that this was done. This was a huge betrayal of trust for both victims and this (proceeding) is closure."

Several members of the victims' families were in court for the hearing and became emotional as Prongay spoke.

Prongay was arrested Feb. 18 and charged with aggravated sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child in connection with the lacrosse team victim. He was free on $250,000 bail on Feb. 24 when he was arrested and charged with attempted aggravated sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual contact, and endangering the welfare of a child in connection with the member of the softball team.

He had faced up to 30 years in prison if convicted on all charges.

Prongay pleaded guilty to an accusation. His case had not yet been presented to a grand jury.

In return for his guilty plea, the state agreed to dismiss the more serious aggravated sexual assault charge, along with all but one of the child endangerment charges.

The agreement calls for the state to recommend Prongay receive up to 10 years in prison for the sexual assault and four years for the child endangerment, with the two sentences to run at the same time.

De Vesa said Prongay could be ordered to serve up to one third of his sentence before he becomes eligible for parole.

The judge scheduled sentencing for Oct. 13, but that will depend on when the court receives the report from the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Avenel on whether Prongay is a repetitive or compulsive sex offender.

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