Today’s news:

Jury convicts Laurelton resident of sexually abusing stepdaughters

A Laurelton man was convicted Friday of sexually abusing his two stepdaughters over a six−year period, the Queens district attorney said.

After a two−week trial, a jury convicted Herdis Baptise, 50, of 139−11 226th St., on two counts of sexual conduct against a child, DA Richard Brown said. Baptise began sexually abusing his wife’s two girls from July 1998 to July 2004, according to Brown.

One of his stepdaughters was 7 when the abuse began, Brown said. The unidentified girls took the stand and testified that Baptise, on at least one occasion, inferred that they should be quiet and said he would give them candy, according to the DA.

Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho scheduled a sentencing date for March 30, when Baptise faces up to 30 years in prison, according to Brown.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e−mail at ipereira@timesledger.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 146.

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