A teenager who strangled and helped dismember his mother while under the psychological control of a pedophile was freed Monday after 16 months in custody and granted youthful offender status.
Angel Rosa, 16, was released to the custody of the psychologist who has been treating him since his arrest and who is adopting him.
Erie County Judge Sheila A. DiTullio, citing "the highly unusual circumstances of this case," accepted the Erie County Probation Department's unprecedented recommendation to grant the youth youthful offender status.
She also imposed a six-month jail term, which already has been satisfied by the time Rosa has spent in custody.
Rosa was allowed by prosecutors to plead guilty June 9 to a reduced charge of first-degree manslaughter for strangling his mother in her Fargo Avenue flat two years ago.
The plea came after defense and prosecution psychologists agreed he had been emotionally controlled by convicted pedophile Edwin Gimenez.
Gimenez, 51, pleaded guilty Sept. 18 to second-degree murder for masterminding the Aug. 18, 2005, killing of Madeline Irene, whose remains were cut up and dumped in the Black Rock Channel.
He had also been charged with repeatedly molesting Rosa and his younger half brother. On Dec. 6, DiTullio sentenced Gimenez to 25 years to life in prison.
Monday, the judge ordered Rosa to follow all the household rules of the psychologist adopting him. Court officials and attorneys in the case refused to identify her publicly.
The judge agreed with Robert J. Cutting, Rosa's court-assigned lawyer, that after more than a year of constant sexual and psychological abuse at the hands of Gimenez -- who had initially been fatherly toward Rosa -- the youth was literally a homicidal "tool in the hands of" the serial pedophile.
Rosa told the judge he was "extremely sorry for what happened to my mother," and he thanked DiTullio for giving him the chance to try to "put my life together."
The judge placed Rosa on probation for five years and directed him to perform 200 hours of community service. She also directed him to undergo any psychological counseling his adoptive mother and other mental-health professionals recommend.
The youth had been at the Erie County Youth Detention Facility on East Ferry Street since his arrest Sept. 10, 2005.
Cutting told the judge that Rosa is "perhaps the ultimate victim in this case" because he has to spend the rest of his life knowing he killed his mother, something that "torments him night and day."
Police found Irene's remains in garbage bags that floated to the surface near West Ferry Street. Cutting said that Rosa had loaded the bags with rice, not the heavy rocks Gimenez had told him to use.
Court officials confirmed that Rosa's half brother, Jose, now 12, goes by a different last name and lives in Buffalo with other relatives and is an honor student.
Prosecutors Christopher J. Belling and David S. Kelly said Gimenez was dishonorably discharged from the Marine Corps in the early 1990s because of his sexual activity with the son of a fellow Marine at a California military base and then spent five years in prison for sodomizing a young boy in Suffolk County.
While in prison in the Suffolk County case, Gimenez became acquainted with a relative of Irene's, relocated to Buffalo after his release and struck up an acquaintance with her and her children, the prosecutors said.