A man who says that he was adopted by the Long Island man accused of sexually abusing at least seven special needs boys told NBC 4 New York said he "wanted to kill" the man charged with caring for him for eight years.
The man, who is now 30 and asked not to be identified, said he and other boys under the care of Cesar Gonzales-Mugaburu were under constant threat of sexual, emotional and physical abuse, years before the 60-year-old was indicted on charges including child endangerment and sexual misconduct.
"He was pretty sick," the man said.
The man was 13 when he was adopted and lived at the home until he was 21 and was one of five alleged victims who was adopted by Gonzales-Mugaburu. He told NBC 4 New York that the man allegedly threatened to sexually attack them and took his hearing aid away if he misbehaved.
He told NBC 4 New York on Monday that fear kept him and the other boys at the home in Ridge from speaking out.
"It's because I wanted to save myself," the man said.
When asked how the abuse affected him, the man said "I wanted to kill him."
Gonzales-Mugaburu was arrested after two of boys came forward and reported recent cases of alleged abuse to a caseworker, who called police.
Gonzalez-Mugaburu was brought in for questioning, he called a 28-year-old adoptee. When that adoptee went to a police station, detectives told him about the allegations and that man began cooperating with investigators. The man who spoke with NBC 4 New York on Monday is also working with investigators.
Prosecutors said that the 60-year-old had been running a foster home for 20 years and cared for more than 140 boys. He was paid as much as $18,000 per month to care for the boys.
He said prosecutors were only able to charge Gonzalez-Mugaburu with abusing seven children in the indictment unsealed Friday, because statute of limitations laws prevent filing charges involving other victims.
An attorney for Gonzales-Mugaburu, who pleaded not guilty to the charges, did not immediately return a request for comment, but supporters who were at his arraignment declined to comment on the case to NBC 4 New York.
He's being held in lieu of a $35,000 bail payment.
Authorities the foster children were placed in his care by Brentwood, New York, non-profit St. Christopher Ottilie and the New York City Administration for Children's Services. Rose Anello, a spokeswoman for St. Christopher Ottilie, says the organization placed 71 children with Gonzalez-Mugaburu over the past 19 years.
Statements issued by both the ACS and the non-profit said they were cooperating with the ongoing investigation.