HACKENSACK, N.J. — After two failed attempts at prosecuting a former construction company owner from Upper Saddle River on child sex charges, authorities have obtained a third indictment.
A defense lawyer for Louis Tantillo, 53, got the previous indictments dismissed each of the past two years based on the alleged victim's apparent inability to specify when she says the assault occurred.
The latest accuses Tantillo of sexually assaulting and endangering the girl, during a sleepover at his home between June 25-Sept. 3, 2009, when she was 12.
The case emerged five years later, after the girl confided in a school counselor who, in turn, called her mother and state child welfare authorities.
During a subsequent interview, she “provided specific details” about what happened during the sleepover, said former Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli.
Detectives from the prosecutor's Special Victims Unit and Upper Saddle River police interviewed the girl, then arrested Tantillo, he said.
Repeated indictment attempts aren't common but do happen after judges dismiss previous tries without prejudice -- and often involve a particular aspect that kept the case from proceeding.
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