By Lisa Redmond
LOWELL — A 45-year-old Ayer man was given 10 years probation and will spend no time in jail after a jury found him guilty of attempting to sexually assault a 19-month-old child.
After a four-day trial last month, a Lowell Superior Court jury found Joseph Sacramone guilty of one count of assault to rape a child. The jury found him not guilty of enticement of a child under 16.
At his sentencing hearing Monday, prosecutors requested a five- to seven-year state prison sentence, but Judge Janet Kenton-Walker sentenced Sacramone to 10 years probation with conditions.
The sentenced angered Laurie Myers of Chelmsford, founder of Community Voices, a victims’ advocacy group.
“It’s disgusting that someone who preyed on a baby was given what amounts to a slap on the wrist,” said Myers. “Holding perpetrators accountable sends the message that their crime is unacceptable. Lack of accountability sends the opposite message. This sentence was more of a joke than justice.”
After falling asleep on the couch, an Ayer woman awoke early one morning last year to allegedly catch Sacramone in the act of trying to sexually assault her 19-month-old daughter, according to prosecutors.
When the woman asked Sacramone what he was doing, he did not reply and left the room, prosecutors state. The woman believed Sacramone was drunk at the time.
Prior to that incident, in late January or early February 2010, Sacramone told the woman he used to be in love with her but now he was “in love” with the child, prosecutor Deborah Bercovitch alleges.
While on probation, Sacramone must abide by the following conditions: alcohol evaluation and follow-up; random alcohol screens; sex-offender evaluation and follow-up; abide by a restraining order; stay away and have no contact with the victim or her mother; register with the Sex Offender Registry; and wear a GPS monitoring bracelet during the duration of his probation.
Managing Editor Kris Pisarik contributed to this report. Follow him on Twitter @kplowellsun.
Follow Lisa Redmond at www.twitter.com/lredmond13.