A self-described pastor has received a sentence of up to 12 years in prison for raping a child under 14 years old in his Dorchester apartment, Suffolk County prosecutors said.
Before Epiphane Lazarre was sentenced Wednesday in a Boston courtroom, the girl he repeatedly sexually assaulted spoke to Suffolk Superior Court Judge Christopher Muse and delivered a powerful message to other victims, Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office said.
“Know that you are not alone,” said the girl, who is now in her mid-teens, according to Conley’s office.
“Don’t let people take advantage of you. No matter what, if you do not agree with it, and if they threaten you any type of way, don’t let that scare you. Show them you’re really stronger than them and that you aren’t scared of nobody.”
Jurors convicted Lazarre after a five-day trial earlier this month in which they heard he used a connection to the victim’s parents to ingratiate himself with the girl.
Lazarre manipulated the family to isolate the girl from her parents, prosecutors said.
Lazarre represented himself as a pastor to the family, but he was not affiliated with any church, prosecutors said.
During the last two months of 2012, Lazarre repeatedly attacked the girl in the Washington Street rooming house where he lived, and refused to let her speak with her family, prosecutors said.
Boston police removed the girl from the home in December 2012, and charged Lazarre, 41, a month later.
Conley’s office said Lazarre was convicted on Nov. 5 of two counts of aggravated rape of a child under 14, and one count of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14.
The girl also took a moment Wednesday in court to thank the people in law enforcement for their support.
“Without you all I wouldn’t know how strong I am,’’ she said. “Even though I felt like giving up, you all show me that no matter what it is or what comes along, there is always an end and an answer.”