A Belleville man is facing life in prison after being convicted of raping a 9-year-old girl.

Jose Santana, 59, was found guilty after a trial by jury.

Santana was arrested in September 2018 after the young victim told her mother about the numerous assaults that the Essex County Prosecutor's Office said happened between October 2017 and August 2018 while the girl was visiting Santana and his wife at their home.

In addition to sexually assaulting the victim, prosecutors said Santana forced her to watch child pornography.

A police search at his home revealed child pornography video and photo files on Santana's laptop, authorities said.

Santana was convicted on all charges — three counts of aggravated sexual assault, two counts of sexual assault, one count of possession of child pornography and one count of endangering the welfare of a child.

“The victim, a brave little 9-year-old girl, found the courage and the strength to tell her mother, and the jury, how the defendant had violated her. The day she testified was the day she took back her dignity,” Assistant Prosecutor Peter C. Polidoro said in a written statement.

Santana is facing 25 years to life in state prison on each of the three aggravated sexual assault counts when he is sentenced Jan. 12.

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