Stephen Pearlman, described by his victim as "like a grandfather to her and the other neighborhood children," was convicted by a jury yesterday on three felonies related to molesting a girl beginning when she was 11 years old.
Pearlman, now 73, was picked up by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office in late 2010 after the girl, who was 20 at the time, came forward to police about the incidents.
There were at least seven incidents in which the girl was molested by Pearlman, according to court documents, including one in which Pearlman inserted a beer bottle into her vagina out of "curiosity."
According to an arrest report, all the incidents took place at Pearlman's house, as he was a "close family friend."
The woman told police that "Pearlman told her to trust him and that a lot of woman [sic] could not have orgasms and he wanted to show her what it was like to have an orgasm."
The sheriff's office set up a controlled call between the woman and Pearlman in which Pearlman admitted to molesting her because he "was stupid."
Pearlman told the woman during the call that she "was very curious" and said that she was "interested" in being molested.
Pearlman went on to tell the girl that he violated her with the beer bottle out of "curiosity."
He was convicted yesterday on three counts of lewd or lascivious battery, which carry a maximum prison sentence of 15 years on each count.
Pearlman's sentencing is scheduled for March 2.
Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.