Athol man pleads to guilty to 27 counts of sexual crimes involving minors

Jose Oquendo, right, stands next to his defense attorney, Isaac Mass, in Franklin County Superior Court on Thursday afternoon.

Jose Oquendo, right, stands next to his defense attorney, Isaac Mass, in Franklin County Superior Court on Thursday afternoon. STAFF PHOTO/DOMENIC POLI

By DOMENIC POLI

Staff Writer

Published: 05-30-2024 5:22 PM

GREENFIELD – A man formerly of Athol will spend the next 25 to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty on Thursday to 27 counts of sexual crimes involving three minors.

Jose Oquendo, 51, appeared in Franklin County Superior Court to accept responsibility for his crimes, including five counts of aggravated rape and abuse of a child. He received a 25- to 30-year sentence for all five to be served concurrently, and will serve lesser sentences concurrently for the other crimes. He also faces five years of probation once he is released from prison.

Assistant District Attorney Yereniuk delivered a detailed explanation of the facts she said the state would be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt at trial and Oquendo confirmed Yereniuk’s accuracy. Oquendo’s abuse spanned years – from the time the victims were prepubescent until their early adulthood – and he was arrested in 2021 after the oldest victim confided in a boyfriend and that boyfriend’s mother. The case was transferred from Greenfield District Court due to its severity.

Victim-impact statements were read during a court session on May 17.

Isaac Mass, the attorney representing Oquendo, told Judge David Hodge that his client has expressed genuine remorse for his actions.

“And he has at every step tried to move this case toward the resolution we’re at right now,” Mass said.

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-930-4120.

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