Two years after a Cortland man pleads guilty to sex crimes, he's back in court for a new sentence. Daniel DePerno was facing ten years in prison before his sentence was thrown out. Tamara Lindstrom was in the courtroom and tells us what the new punishment will be.
CORTLAND COUNTY, N.Y. -- Accused of more than 30 counts of sex crimes against a young girl, Daniel DePerno made a deal. He would plead guilty to second and third degree rape and one criminal sex act and spend ten years in prison.
That was his sentence in 2010. But that sentence wouldn't stick.
"I can't explain why everybody got the original sentence wrong, but it doesn't matter. We got it right this time," said Cortland County District Attorney Mark Suben.
DePerno appealed and his punishment was found to be illegal. He had been sentenced under the current law, rather than the guidelines in place when the crimes were committed.
On Thursday, he came before the judge again.
DePerno read a letter to the court asking for a lighter sentence. He said he is full of remorse and that he was a contributing member of the community before his arrest, serving as a SUNY Cortland professor and a father.
"I'm not going to comment on the defendant's statement, other than to say it was disgusting that he thought it was just for him to get a radically lower sentence than what he had agreed to initially," Suben said.
The judge denied that request, re-sentencing DePerno to an indeterminate sentence of six to 18 years in prison, with credit for time served.
"He will now not be automatically released after eight plus years as he would have been on a determinate sentence, but that he will have to fight for his release before a parole board beginning after six years with credit for time served and then every two years thereafter if he's not granted release," Suben said.
It's a punishment with which both the D.A. and victim are satisfied.
"This is a very self possessed young woman," Suben said. "A very high achiever. Outstanding in every way. And she's bearing the burden of what this man did."
The victim left the courtroom with an Order of Protection in place for the maximum time allowable, while DePerno was led in chains, back to prison.
DePerno will be required to register as a sex offender upon his release. His attorney declined to comment on the case.