Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Wamala gets 20-40 years

From "Wamala sentenced for repeated sexual assaults on girl" at the Nashua Telegraph:
A former Lowell (Mass.) High School math teacher and chess coach was sentenced Monday to 20-40 years in prison for repeatedly raping a young girl....

Prosecutors had urged an even stiffer sentence of 30-60 years in prison. Assistant County Attorney Patricia LaFrance recognized Wamala won't become eligible for parole unless he admits his guilt as part of the prison's sex-offender treatment program and thus may serve the maximum term, effectively a life sentence.

"If he chooses to step up and admit what he did, he has the chance to get out of prison before he dies," she said. "It's on him . . . the ball is in his hands."The victim, now 16, said though her life has improved since his arrest, Wamala had "ruined my life in a lot of different ways."

"There's nothing he can do to erase the past six years of my life. The damage is done," she said....

Wamala spoke at length before he was sentenced. Wamala said he agrees that a person found guilty of sexual assaults should be removed from society, but he said juries sometimes make mistakes and did so in his case.

Wamala said the girl had lied many times during her life, usually to cover up when she got into trouble. He spoke at length about instances when he said she lied about hitting another child in sixth grade, using a cell phone in school and sharing test answers with friends. Repeatedly, he remarked, "everything I have said can be verified by someone other than me."

"You have fooled people," he told her. "You know how to make yourself a victim, to appear as a victim."....

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