A 38-year-old Bronx cop who also is a pastor was arrested Tuesday on charges of having sex with a 16-year-old girl he met at his church youth program, officials said.
Officer Vladimir Sosa, a seven-year NYPD veteran, was arraigned Tuesday night in Bronx Criminal Court on third-degree rape, sexual misconduct and child endangerment charges.
“He abused his two positions of authority, both public and vestal,” Bronx Assistant District Attorney Joelle Morabito said.
Sosa is an evangelist who studied theology at the United Christian College in North Carolina, according to his Facebook page.
He is affiliated with the Iglesia Metodista Libre El Remanente on E. 180th St. in Tremont, the Bronx, where he met the teen, but often travels to preach at other houses of worship, said colleague Fernando Gonzalez, who helped found the church in 2001.
Gonzalez couldn’t believe the charges the Bronx cop is facing.
“It’s not true,” he said, adding that he’s always trusted Sosa with his three daughters. “It’s being made up.”
“Vladimir might have been trying to help the female in question with her spiritual life,” he said. “It might have happened that because of her young age, she confused the situation.
But a family friend of the victim, who want to remain anonymous, described the girl as an “innocent” who was seduced by the older man.
“She’s doing very bad … she used to be a top student, a virgin, a girl that was in love with God and this man seduced her,” said the woman, who also knew Sosa. “She is crying, very depressed … I can say that he destroyed her life.”
“This man used to be a good man, but only God knows when he let the devil take control of his life,” she said.
The NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau took Sosa in for questioning at the apartment he shares with his mother at the Bronx River Houses on Tuesday morning, officials said.
SAM COSTANZA/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
NYPD cop Vladimir Sosa attends this church, the Inglesia Metodista Libre El Remanente, which is located on the second floor of 535 East 180 St. in the Bronx.
“We don’t know what’s going on,” his mother, who asked not to be identified, said Tuesday evening. “We can’t say anything right now.”
It’s believed that Sosa, who works at the 46th Precinct in Fordham, and the girl were romantically involved for at least seven months last year. He had consensual sex with the minor at least three times,
All of the illicit hookups took place at Sosa’s apartment, according to court papers.
The teen’s family learned of the relationship when the girl’s mother found some incriminating texts on her child’s cell phone last month.
The teen admitted the relationship to her mom, who alerted authorities, according to police.
Sosa’s attorney, Cary London, said there is no physical evidence to back up the girl’s claims.
“There has never been a situation where they have been alone in the same room together,” London said.
Sosa, who kept his head bowed during the arraignment, was released on his own recognizance, despite Morabito’s request for $25,000 bail.
A man who identified himself as Sosa’s brother refused to comment at the cop’s home.
“The truth will set everyone free, just like the Bible says,” he said.
With Rocco Parascandola, Joseph Stepansky