Aunt comes to forgive nephew who abused his cousin

Posted: Updated:
WESTCHESTER -

An aunt says she is torn between loving her nephew dearly, but despising what he did.

“Jose” was 14 when he abused his 6-year-old cousin.

He was the same age when he moved to Westchester County with his father from a poor rural area in Peru with his teenage mother working multiple jobs to make ends meet.

He says that in Peru, his neighbor's son abused him starting when he was 4 years old, but he didn’t want to tell anyone.

After he moved to America, he said that he started to touch his cousin when he was in the house alone with him.

“When I did the crime, I wasn't thinking at all. I just wanted to do it,” says Jose.

The victim did not say silent, and when the family found out what happened, a then-16-year-old Jose ended up behind bars at the County Jail in Valhalla. He then spent three years as a part of the youth shelter program of Westchester. The program is a one-of-a-kind alternative to prison that offers deserving teens a second chance at life.

Jose’s aunt believes the now 20-year-old is a changed man, worthy of forgiveness.

She says Jose is now part of a youth leadership program, has a job and is even getting his GED.

"I think he's really sorry, I think they should understand, I think they should make peace,” he says.

The aunt recently tried to become a peacemaker and called the mother of the victim because she says Jose has been making strides.

While the family said they would think about it and wound up deciding not to meet up, the aunt says she is not giving up.

"I hope they become more understanding,” she says.

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