2005-07-08 / Community

Girl, 12, Sodomized By Acquaintance

By Brian Magoolaghan

A 12-year-old girl was sodomized by a family acquaintance after a relative took her to an Independence Day celebration, plied her with alcohol and then served the girl up to an alleged sexual predator, according to court records.

Authorities said the sexual assault took place in a car driven by Catherine Poehmel, 45 – the girl’s step-aunt. Christopher Eicholzer, 22, is accused of “kissing” the girl’s face, neck and chest before having her perform oral sex on him, according to court records.

Eicholzer’s “kisses” left the victim – whose name and address is being withheld by authorities due to the nature of the alleged incident – covered with “large bruises.”

Sources said the two adults attended a July Fourth barbecue with the girl, who was allowed to consume alcohol at party. It was unclear what time the three left the celebration; police intercepted the step-aunt’s vehicle on Beach 149 Street – not far from Jacob Riis Park – at 4 a.m. on July 5.

Poehmel, who allegedly stood by and watched as the incident unfolded, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child. She faces up to one year in prison if convicted, according to a spokeswoman for Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown. Authorities withheld her address to help protect the identity of the alleged victim.

Eicholzer, of 324 Beach 101 Street, is charged with first-degree criminal sex act, three counts of second-degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.

Prosecutors requested that Eicholzer be held on $200,000 bail but a Queens Criminal Court Judge set bail at $30,000, the district attorney’s spokeswoman said. He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

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