Edwin Soto started sexually abusing his 7-year-old stepdaughter when the family lived in Maryland and the abuse continued after they moved to Miami in January, police said.
The child told her mother, but the mother didn’t believe her, police said.
On Tuesday, Miami police arrested Soto, 32, and charged him with two counts of sexual battery of a child under 12, and one count of lewd and lascivious conduct. Florida Department of Law Enforcement records list Soto as a registered sexual offender.
His wife Regia B. Perez-Soto, 32, also was arrested, and charged with two counts of child neglect for not informing authorities about her husband’s conduct.
According to police, the girl told her mother at least three times after the family moved to South Florida that her stepfather had abused her sexually.
Perez-Soto confronted her husband and he convinced her that her daughter was “a liar.” The family decided to stay together, the arrest affidavit says.
The girl has been staying at the Kristi House, a Miami nonprofit created to aide child sex abuse victims.