PATERSON, N.J. — Multimillion-dollar Powerball winner Pedro Quezada, 49, of Wayne appeared in Passaic County Court Monday on charges he repeatedly raped his 11-year-old stepdaughter until she reached the age of 14.
His brothers, children and wife are standing behind him. Quezada’s defense attorneys stated that Quezada’s wife, Inez Sanchez – who is the mother to the alleged victim – does not believe her daughter’s story.
“I think it’s a money grab,” said defense attorney Rafael Betancourt.
Quezada won $338 million in 2013. His wife later sued him for her share of the money. They are now back together.
The alleged victim, now 20, no longer lives with the couple. The prosecutor said she waited to report the sexual assault because she was afraid of retaliation.
The prosecutor accused Quezada of bribing his stepdaughter with gifts for sexual favors.
“The state would be concerned that he could engage in similar behavior were he released,” said assistant prosecutor Erica Salerno.
Quezada used to own a bodega before he became a multimillionaire. The alleged victim stated to prosecutors that he would chase anyone who stole from him down the street and try to fight them, rather than call police.
But Quezada’s attorneys said the victim is simply desperate for money.
“This girl is 20 years of age, she’s not working. She’s living in a small cramped apartment with other family members,” said Steven Wukovits, defense attorney.
Quezada was ordered not to contact the victim. He is on house arrest pending a grand jury’s review of the case.