Thursday, August 14, 2008

82 year old suburban Chicago man starting 6 month sentence for fingering wife's caregiver

A Lombard man is spending the first day of a 6 month sentence in the DuPage County Jail in Wheaton, IL today for sexually assaulting his terminally ill wife’s caregiver. Guiseppe Metallo, 82, was sentenced to 6 months in the DuPage County Jail, 6 additional months of home confinement, 2 years of sex offender probation, and registration as a sex offender on July 22.

Metallo’s official plea was to a count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and another count of criminal sexual abuse for the December 21, 2005 incident. DuPage Circuit Judge Kathryn Creswell presided over the deal, reached after conviction by trial on more serious charges. The victim contacted police 2 days later, and she went to Lombard’s Edward Hospital, where doctors found a vaginal scratch. The woman was only on her 2nd day on the job caring for Metallo’s wife.

Lombard police arrested Metallo, the grandfather of a local police officer, on felony charges. One year later, the caregiver filed a federal lawsuit against Lombard and Officer Joseph Metallo, alleging he tried to hinder the investigation involving his grandfather by instructing his grandfather to cut his long fingernails and thus, destroy possible physical evidence, among other issues, before police arrived with a search warrant.

Both sides later reached a $25,000 settlement, which is less in legal fees than the cost of taking the case to trial. Officer Joseph Metallo since retired on a disability pension after becoming injured.

"We took her complaint seriously and, after an investigation, we arrested and charged the defendant with a felony," Lombard police Chief Ray Byrne said. "(The lawsuit) was completely without merit. We did everything appropriately."

The victim, who drove 3 hours to the sentencing, said, "I try to get on with my life, but at times simply don't care about anything," the woman wrote in a victim-impact statement that her husband read in court. "I have had something taken from me that I can never get back. I feel as if a chunk of my heart and soul have been ripped away."

Dupage State’s Attorney Joe Birkett said he sympathized with the victim, but the defendant’s old age, lack of other criminal history, frail health, and valid appeal issues make a plea deal appropriate.

For example, defense attorney Jack Donahue argued a new trial was warranted because the Italian-speaking defendant did not have a proper interpreter and, therefore, didn't understand the legal proceedings.

Lombard Police Chief Ray Byrne defended his force from the lawsuit allegations, saying "We took her complaint seriously and, after an investigation, we arrested and charged the defendant with a felony. It was completely without merit. We did everything appropriately."

1 comment:

Illinois said...

The convicted assailant used his age and police officer grandson in an attempt to get out of trouble. He asked for a bench trial, but the judge convicted him on the basis of strong testimony from the victim and medical evidence. The conviction carried a mandatory four year prison sentence. The prosecutor felt sorry for the man and engineered a deal--without the victim's knowledge or consent--into dropping the conviction in exchage for lesser plea and six months in the county jail. The victim has learned the hard way that the Dupage County's States Attorney does not advocate for rape victims, he is compassionate with the criminal. Age should have had nothing to do with the sentence. This guy gets out in six months but the victim is a victim the rest of her life.