Imbert-Lenchez
Imbert-Lenchez

A native of the Dominican Republic paid back a York City family's generosity by raping the "light" of their lives -- a 5-year-old girl.

On Wednesday, Rafael Antonio Imbert-Lenchez, 63, was ordered to spend eight to 16 years in state prison for his crimes.

He also was ordered to submit to mental-health treatment and drug and alcohol treatment, court records state.

The man pleaded guilty Jan. 24 to child rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, unlawful contact with a minor and corruption of a minor.

Imbert-Lenchez raped the girl during summer 2012, shortly before she turned 6 years old, deputy prosecutor Stephen McDonald said. Her parents contacted York City Police on June 25, police said.

'Bad things': The victim later told investigators Imbert-Lenchez did bad things to her, court documents state.

"The devastation that he wrought on this family was so complete there's nothing any sentence can bring to them that's going to make it better for them," McDonald said. "They're all trying to move on."

The girl's mother spoke at the sentencing hearing, telling Imbert-Lenchez he's sick, and that she forgives him, according to the prosecutor.

"She essentially said that they had opened their homes and hearts to this man and taken him in as a relative, and that what he did was just so devastating to their family," McDonald said. "She talked about how (her daughter) was the light of their family and how he brought all this darkness on them."

Taken in: The girl's family agreed to take in Imbert-Lenchez after being asked to do so by a family member in the Dominican Republic, McDonald said.

"He had ... family in York, but they wouldn't take him in," he said.

McDonald said the plea agreement spared the little girl from having to testify about the rape -- and spared her family from having to sit through her testimony.

Imbert-Lenchez's defense attorney, public defender Jim Rader, could not immediately be reached for comment.

-- Staff writer Liz Evans Scolforo can also be reached at levans@yorkdispatch.com.