City man receives maximum sentence
“I am giving the defendant every possible day in prison I can give him and that’s not enough.”
That was part of an incredibly strong message Judge Gregory Hammond gave to Thomas G. Anthony, 52, who was sentenced on two dockets of sexual offenses on Monday afternoon.
Hammond sentenced Anthony to an aggregate sentence of 10 to 20 years on two counts of aggravated indecent assault – one for each victim – but recognized that it wasn’t enough.
Last month, Anthony was sentenced in the aggravated range by President Judge Maureen Skerda to a total of 65 to 144 months in state prison.
According to court documents, Anthony forced two people to have sex with one another while he watched by threatening them with and subjecting them to physical violence.
The two sentences will be served consecutively and it’s anticipated that Anthony will ultimately spend over 20 years in state prison.
Monday’s proceeding started with a hearing to take testimony from Brenda Manno, an evaluator for the state’s Sexual Offender Assessment Board. Her evaluation, report and testimony concluded that Anthony should be classified as a sexually violent predator.
Manno said she evaluated Anthony prior to that hearing and did not determine him to be a sexually violent predator, a status which carries additional reporting requirements as a sexual offender under Megan’s Law.
However, the ages of the victims, nature of the conduct and other factors impacted her determination in a second assessment completed in advance of Monday’s proceeding.
The SVP test has two prongs – that a defendant has a mental abnormality or personality disorder (Manno said Anthony meets the criteria for unspecified paraphilic disorder) as well as meeting the statute definition of predator.
“That is a lifetime condition,” Manno said.
Hammond said the testimony was “complete, compelling and uncontradicted” and classified Anthony as a sexually violent predator.
The proceeding then shifted to the sentencing phase.
Chief Public Defender Mike Kitay told the court that his client is sorry, has taken accountability and is remorseful.
“He wants to get help,” Kitay said. “Whether or not he is able to ever leave prison is one thing…. He’s definitely an addict and he knows it.”
Both of his victims addressed the court.
“I never thought this day would come,” one said. “You say you’re not a monster. (I) disagree.”
Greene said Kitay’s assertion of remorse and accountability by not taking the case to trial is “ridiculous.”
He said he’s been DA for seven years and has never asked the court to impose the maximum sentence until today.
“I spoke with the victims at length,” he wrote in a sentencing memorandum, “and after speaking with both girls and their mother, we all decided to offer a plea agreement to the defendant… which is what brings us to sentencing court today.
“In regards to Thomas Anthony’s sentence, what I believe should happen to this child predator is not permitted by law….”
He asked Hammond to ensure it is a “decade or two before he (Anthony) sees the light of day.”
Anthony was then given a chance to speak.
“I am truly sorry,” he said. “I am a sick man…. I never wanted to hurt anybody.”
He emphasized it’s “not an excuse, it’s not right,” but said that he’s sober now and wishes there was a way to take the abuse back.
“I really don’t know where to start with you Mr. Anthony,” Hammond said.
“You have no room in your soul for morals and compassion,” he continued.
He cited the victim’s “unbelievable strength and courage.”
“I hold out a great deal of hope for you,” he told them. “You do win. He loses. You win.”
Turning back to Anthony, Hammond said he’s not “delusional” to think that Anthony can be rehabilitated and that “nobody is going to rewire you” to make him a human being.
“You’re not a man, you never were,” he said. “You’re a sick individual” and a sentence outside of the guidelines is the “only appropriate sentence.
“I am giving the defendant every possible day in prison I can give him and that’s not enough.” He said it makes him sick that Anthony might have a breath of fresh air as a free man at some point.
To the victims, Hammond apologized for the “woefully short” sentence and said there is nothing to be gained by Anthony returning to society in future.
He then handed down identical sentences at each charge: 60-120 months incarceration, three year probation, no unsupervised contact with anyone under 18, $1,625 in fines and fees, a no contact/communication order with the victim and the victim’s family, submission of a DNA sample, sexual offender counseling, a mental health evaluation and compliance recommendation and no boot camp or recidivism risk reduction incentive eligibility.
He will be classified as a Tier III sexual offender due to these convictions and will have to register as a sexual offender for life.