NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Sunday, March 20, 2016, 4:00 AM
Cesar Gonzales-Mugaburu’s foster home was a house of horrors for four children who spent two unsettling months with him in 2009.
An accused pedophile foster parent who preyed upon boys tried to keep a 1-year-old in his Long Island house of horrors, while striving to evict his three older sisters, their mother told the Daily News.
Creepy Cesar Gonzales-Mugaburu, 59, left the girls in tears with his bizarre behavior during their time together and tried to arrange their transfer to another home, according to mom Sue O’Keefe.
“He just wanted my son,” O’Keefe told The News in a Saturday interview at her Staten Island home. “He didn’t want my daughters. … It didn’t make sense to me. Why would you keep my son?”
Gonzales-Mugaburu, of Ridge, L.I., was charged with sexually abusing seven children — and a pet dog — inside his home on a Suffolk County cul-de-sac. He was jailed on $ 1 million bond. Prosecutors say there were likely more victims among the 140 kids he took in over the past 20 years.
“You never got a good vibe from this guy,” said O’Keefe, who recognized a photo of Gonzales-Mugaburu from The News’ front page.
Gonzales-Mugaburu kept foster children locked in their rooms, barred them from playing with other kids and once sliced all the cables to the television as punishment.
Her children began recounting memories of abuse and bizarre antics after seeing the picture of their alleged tormentor, she said.
O’Keefe said caseworkers told her at one point that her daughters were in good hands with the alleged predator. Their explanation, she said — he was gay.
The four children spent two unsettling months with the suspect in 2009, their mother said. The kids shared the place with one of his adopted sons, who was a former foster child.
According to the kids, their freaked-out foster dad kept them locked in their rooms, barred them from playing with other kids and once sliced all the cables to the television as punishment.
The 1-year-old brother was permitted out of his room with Gonzales-Mugaburu while his sisters were often kept behind closed doors, the oldest of the three told The News.
Gonzales-Mugaburu faces up to 50 years in prison if convicted on charges of sexual misconduct and child endangerment.
The eldest girl, now 16, told The News that Gonzales-Mugaburu once called the police — and when they responded to the house, insisted that she had threatened to kill him.
Another time, two of the girls had to free their terrified little brother when Gonzales-Mugaburu locked him alone inside a room and left the house for more than an hour.
“When he got home, he was yelling, ‘Who did it? Who let him out?’” the oldest daughter recounted. “So then he grabbed a knife from downstairs and cut all the cables to the TV. I started crying. We all started crying.”
Gonzales-Mugaburu punished the same girl by taking her phone and throwing it into the woods. He would push dressers in front of kids’ doors to block them from leaving their rooms.
“He was very abusive toward us,” said the daughter. “When I got in trouble, he used to come into my room and scream in my face.”
“You never got a good vibe from” Gonzales-Mugaburu, said Sue O’Keefe, whose children were in his custody.
Over the years, needy kids were sent to the serial foster parent by both the New York City Administration for Children’s Services and the nonprofit St. Christopher Otillie, known as SCO.
In an email to The News, SCO said the situation was “extremely troubling” and the organization was cooperating with authorities.
Additional charges against Gonzales-Mugaburu were blocked in some cases by statutes of limitation, officials said. He was due back in court Monday, and faces up to 50 years in prison if convicted on charges of sexual misconduct and child endangerment. Authorities charged that Gonzales-Mugaburu had sexual relations with a female dog while a girl assigned to his care watched.
There were two cars parked Saturday in the driveway of Gonzales-Mugaburu’s home, but nobody answered the door.
At least two organizations sent needy kids to the serial foster parent who faces up to 50 years in prison if convicted.
One of the suspect’s adopted sons drove up to the house behind the wheel of a white Lincoln Continental.
“No comment,” he said, before zipping away.
Prosecutors said another of Gonzales-Mugaburu’s adopted sons cooperated with the probe after two boys made allegations to a caseworker about mistreatment.
Neighbors said Gonzales-Mugaburu, who pleaded not guilty Friday, was single with no family other than his adopted children.
O’Keefe, 37, now has custody of all seven of her kids, although all were at one point in foster care.
Over the last two decades, the suspect kept as many as eight children at a time in his two-story ranch home.
The Administration for Children’s Services issued a Friday statement saying it removed all foster kids from the house upon learning of the allegations — although the agency didn’t specify when that was.
With Barry Paddock