Wednesday, August 03, 2005
This is what I call justice:
- Man who molested 10 children sentenced to 91-182 years
Jurors took about 70 minutes to find the Frankford man guilty of numerous counts of rape, attempted rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, kidnapping, terroristic threats and related offenses. Jurors found him not guilty of two counts of possessing an instrument of crime.
Zamichieli, 20, went limp after the verdicts were announced, and sheriff's deputies dragged him from the courtroom. When he returned for sentencing, he told the judge: "I've been framed. I've been railroaded from the very beginning."
Zamichieli, who is African American, said he was a victim of racial discrimination. He also said that the prosecutor acted improperly, that a juror was biased against him, and that the victims misidentified him.
- But Cooperman firmly told him: "I see no reason to believe there was any framing, any lying, anything untoward toward you... certainly nothing racial. The victims of these crimes were African American, Caucasian and Latino. The jury was composed of different races."
Zamichieli also said he did not understand the lengthy sentence: "I'm not accused of murdering somebody."
The mother of one of Zamichieli's victims - an 11-year-old boy who was raped - wept as she addressed the defendant.
"You're not a human being! You're a monster. You should never be allowed to see the daylight," she told Zamichieli, who did not look at her. "I wish you would be man enough to turn around and face me, the way you faced my son!"
In his closing arguments yesterday, Zamichieli's lawyer said that the identifications by the traumatized victims were unreliable.
Since the trial began July 14, each of the 10 victims - who ranged in age from 10 to 15 when they were attacked in February and March 2003 - testified against Zamichieli.
In addition, a psychiatrist who interviewed him in January testified that the defendant did not deny the accusations. "I didn't get no sexual satisfaction from them... . I just did them because I was angry," psychiatrist Barbara Ziv testified Zamichieli told her.
Jurors did not learn that last summer, he pleaded guilty and no contest to attacking the children. But before he was to be sentenced to 50 to 100 years in prison, Zamichieli withdrew his pleas and asked to stand trial.