Just when I thought I had heard it all.
I am all for harsh sentences imposed by judges because I believe they are a deterrent for others who may want to act the same way.
The Associated Press reports that Bucks County Common Pleas Court Judge Albert Cepparulo imposed a 935- to 1,870-year prison sentence to Thomas Holliday, 81, a man who sexually abused a girl for four years. He even videotaped almost each and every assault.
Prosecutors said Holliday began abusing the girl in 2009, when she was only 14.
The AP said Holliday was convicted in January of 234 crimes, including hundreds of counts related to creating and possessing child pornography. Cepparulo said he wanted the sentence to serve as a warning to other child predators.
Holliday was convicted in January of 234 crimes, including hundreds of counts related to creating and possessing child pornography.
But all of that isn't the worst part of it all. Yes, it gets worse.
It came out at trial that Holliday was a friend of the family who had offered to help the girl's mother financially. The girl's mother then sent her daughter to live with him.
I think the mother should bear some of the responsibility for this situation.
And get this -- Holliday denied each and every one of the charges because...wait for it...he said he the teen were in love.
Just when you think you've heard it all.
I did some checking on Judge Cepparulo and he is not the kind of judge who shrinks from sending a strong message.
Last year, Cepparulo denied a Falls Township child molester's request for a shorter sentence. John Skopinski, 64, is serving a 25- to 50-year state prison sentence for sexually abusing a girl for several years, starting when she was just 11.
When he came back to the courtroom for a reconsideration hearing, Cepparulo gave him short-shrift.
"The motion is absolutely denied," Cepparulo said, noting that Skopinski hadn't presented any new evidence. To top it off, Cepparulo then instructed deputy sheriffs to "remove him from the courtroom so I don't have to look at him."
He sounds like my kind of judge.
I'm fond of quoting Baretta, as in "Don't do the crime if you can't do the time." I also often repeat a longtime friend's opening line to one of his essays -- "On a cold night, a hot bowl of soup tastes good." Remember it's not always about what is convenient. It is often about what will make you happy.
Remember, what feels like the end is often the beginning.
Follow me on Twitter @KimWendel