THE BRONX - The man charged in the brutal death of a 15-year-old Bronx girl back in 2012 appeared in court Tuesday. 

Luis Vega was charged earlier this month with second-degree murder, about a year and a half after Destiny Sanchez was found dead at a Hunts Point building. 

Police say the teenager had been spending time with Vega, who is her step-uncle. 

According to the indictment, Vega choked and smothered Sanchez. He's also accused of forcibly engaging in a sexual act with the minor.