PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced that a North Providence man was sentenced on October 27, 2020 in Providence County Superior Court to serve 18 years at the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI) after being found guilty of molesting a female victim under the age of 12 multiple times from 2008 to 2012.

On January 22, 2020, Joseph Coletta (age 46), was found guilty of five counts of second-degree child molestation by a Providence County Superior Court jury. The jury returned the verdict after one day of deliberation, following a week-long trial presided over by Superior Court Justice Netti C. Vogel.

At the sentencing hearing, Judge Vogel sentenced Coletta to 25 years at the ACI with 18 years to serve and the balance of the sentence suspended with 25 years of probation. The Court also issued a no contact order between Coletta and the victim. Additionally, Coletta is required to register as a sex offender and complete sex offender counseling.

“There is nothing as heartbreaking as the exposure of children to sexual exploitation and the trauma of being molested by a trusted adult,” said Attorney General Neronha. “The defendant’s reprehensible conduct here and his failure to accept any responsibility for that conduct – more than warrants the lengthy sentence of imprisonment imposed by the Court. Perhaps he will reflect on that conduct, and the harm he has caused, during the many days, months and years of incarceration ahead for him. Meanwhile, the justice served in this case will hopefully aid the victim in the years ahead as she and her loved ones as they move forward in the healing process.”

During the trial, the State proved beyond a reasonable doubt that on multiple dates between June 2008 and June 2012, Coletta molested the daughter of his girlfriend who was between the ages of 8 and 12 when she was abused. The incidents took place in Providence, North Providence, and Lincoln.

Rhode Island State Police Detective Conor O’Donnell led the investigation into the case. Special Assistant Attorney General Bethany Laskowski prosecuted the case on behalf of the Office of the Attorney General.


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