North Providence man found guilty of child molestation

North Providence man found guilty of child molestation

NORTH PROVIDENCE - Joseph Coletta, 46, of North Providence, was found guilty of five counts of second-degree child molestation on Wednesday by a Providence County Superior Court jury.

During the trial, the state proved beyond a reasonable doubt that, on diverse dates between 2008 and 2012, the defendant molested his girlfriend’s daughter. The minor was between the ages of 8 and 12 at the time of the assault. 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.

The jury returned the verdict after one day of deliberation, following a weeklong trial presided over by Superior Court Justice Netti C. Vogel.

“It is heartbreaking whenever a child is victimized in this way, in particular because we know the road to recovery is long and difficult. The defendant’s conduct here stole this child’s innocence and forever changed her future. The bill for that conduct has come due. He faces a long period of incarceration, and deservedly so,” said Attorney General Peter F. Neronha.

Coletta is currently being held without bail pending sentencing, which will be scheduled for a later date in Providence County Superior Court.