1 2 LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

CLEVELAND -- Attorney Anthony O. Calabrese III pleaded guilty Friday to charges involved with Cuyahoga County racketeering charges that included bribing officials and also a scheme to bribe rape victims to change their testimony.

According to Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty, the two rape victims were offered money to either change their testimony or write a letter to Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge John J. Russo that the defendant be spared jail time

Calabrese, 41, of Bentleyville, was sentenced to four and a half years by Visiting Judge Patricia Cosgrove. Calabrese will serve it concurrently with his nine-year federal corruption and bribery-related prison sentence. He will serve those sentences at the Federal Correction Institution at Elkton, located outside Youngstown.

Before sentencing, Cosgrove told Calabrese that his behavior "demeans all of us who are attorneys."

Calabrese was represented by attorney Thomas Shaughnessy and Calabrese has already paid more than $130,000 in restitution in his federal cases and has now agreed to deposit $25,000 into Cuyahoga County's general fund within seven days.

Calabrese pleaded guilty to bribes paid to former county officials -- including former Auditor Frank Russo and Commissioner Jimmy Dimora -- for their support for county funding for Alternatives Agency, a halfway house Calabrese was associated with.

Calabrese also pleaded guilty that he and two other attorneys -- G. Timothy Marshall and Marc Doumbas -- conspired to bribe two rape victims by offering them money to change their testimony in a case against defendant Thomas J. Castro. All three have pleaded not guilty and go to trial Nov. 12.

Castro, also charged in the bribery case, was sentenced in August to nearly five years in prison after he was found guilty of sexual battery and gross sexual imposition in cases involving two women. He had previously been convicted of sexual battery and had been labeled a high-risk sex offender.

1 2 LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE