Today’s news:

Astoria man sent to jail in sex abuse

An Astoria street vendor was sentenced last Thursday to 20 years in prison for sexually assaulting and impregnating an 8-year-old girl who was the daughter of his girlfriend at the time, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.

Chancellor Drayton, 44, of 4-21 27th Ave., pleaded guilty in State Supreme Court in Kew Gardens last month to committing multiple acts of sexual assault, including sexual intercourse, on the girl between December 2001 and October 2002, Brown said.

State Supreme Court Judge Barry Kron sentenced Drayton to 20 years in prison last Thursday as part of a plea bargain agreement Drayton made when he pleaded guilty, the DA said.

“The sentence imposed is a just punishment for a despicable act and a monstrous crime,” he said. “The defendant is a dangerous predator who betrayed a child’s trust and destroyed her innocence.”

Brown criticized the sentence as inadequate when the deal was made last month.

The girl, 8, was the daughter of Drayton’s former girlfriend, who apparently lived with him, Brown said. Drayton admitted he sexually assaulted the girl over a 10-month span inside his home, the DA said.

The encounters resulted in the girl’s pregnancy, which was terminated, Brown said.

Drayton, a self-employed street vendor who peddled socks on the sidewalks in Astoria, pleaded guilty to a charge of “course of sexual conduct against a child” Feb. 3 before Judge Kron.

The investigation into Drayton was launched by the New York Police Department’s Special Victims Squad and the DA’s Special Victims Bureau after the girl’s grandmother lodged a complaint against Drayton with police officers, Brown said. It was unclear what prompted the grandmother to make the report, or if the girl’s pregnancy was a factor.

Drayton was arrested by police Nov. 25, 2002, Brown said.

Reach reporter Courtney Dentch by e-mail at news@timesledger.com, or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.

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