Staten Island Dad Charged with Trying to Sell 2-Month-Old on Craigslist

By Jess Wisloski

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EMERSON HILL — A Staten Island father was arrested and charged after posting two ads on Craigslist purporting to sell a baby that belonged to a woman who wouldn’t pay attention to him, officials said.

Paul Marquez, 23, who has a 2-year-old daughter of his own, took his date’s rejection a step too far when he posted an ad offering her 2-month-old baby girl to anyone who would pay him $100, the Staten Island District Attorney said.

“Heyy [sic] I have a 2 month old baby name [redacted] she loves to play nd [sic] have her little fun but there is only 1 problem, the doctor said that she has asthma nd [sic] if she turns a certain way she can stop breathing, she’s really getting on my nerves nd [sic] I don’t want her Please email me,” Marquez posted on July 29, law enforcement officials said.

The ad was flagged by Craigslist and taken down, but Marquez reposted on July 30, according to the DA’s office.

The baby girl’s mother, Katie Devalle, 19, contacted authorities after she received a call from someone offering to buy the baby, the complaint said. Marquez gave her phone number and the baby’s photo to the potential buyer.

She and Marquez had met and chatted online, and they had been on a couple of dates, but she wasn’t paying him as much attention as he would have liked, a source said.

“He wanted to see her more, she works, she has a newborn and she didn’t have time for this knucklehead,” the source said.

Meanwhile, the NYPD received calls reporting the ad, and the Administration of Children’s Services was also alerted to the case, a court spokesman said. Marquez was arrested on Aug. 1 and was still being held on $1,000 bail as of Monday.

According to court papers, Marquez — who stocks lingerie at a Victoria’s Secret in the Staten Island Mall — admitted in a deposition that he “offered her daughter for sale” and that he posted to ad “to get back at Katie,” when she stopped calling.

Marquez, who lives in the Todt Hill Houses, is facing misdemeanor charges of aggravated harassment in the second degree and endangering the welfare of a child, as well as a social service charge that prohibits offering a child for sale. If he is found guilty, he faces a maximum sentence of one year in prison, a court spokesman said.

Prosecutors said they have launched a separate investigation into the buyer.

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