Florence man gets 20 to 25 years in prison for child rape

By MICHAEL MAJCHROWICZ

@mjmajchrowicz

Published: 12-20-2016 11:11 AM

NORTHAMPTON — Moments before the two little girls faced their abuser for the last time, the bikers gathered around them — a wall of black leather vests — as they walked into the courthouse. They had nothing to fear, the bikers assured the girls.

The vest-clad men and women, members of the western Massachusetts chapter of Bikers Against Child Abuse, were in court Monday to emotionally support the girls, 12 and 10, who prosecutors said were sexually assaulted over a one-year span.

A jury convicted Stanley Michalski, 32, of Florence, two weeks ago of raping one of the girls and indecently assaulting the other. Michalski also showed one of them pornography.

Prosecutors said the girls temporarily lived in Michalski’s Florence Road home from August 2013 to September 2014. During the week-long Hampshire Superior Court trial, which the motorcyclists also attended, both girls testified they slept in the man’s bedroom. One of them even said she shared a bed with Michalski.

He was found guilty on four counts of aggravated rape of a child, one count each of indecent assault and battery of a child, indecent assault and battery on a child younger than 14 and disseminating matter harmful to minors — crimes for which a judge on Monday sentenced him to 20 to 25 years in prison, plus 10 years probation with special conditions.

In court, Michalski listened to the prosecutor talk about the precious childhoods she said were pried from the girls, how the elder girl cannot bear to be around men whose haircuts resemble her rapist’s, how she panics during health class at school.

“I had to keep secrets from everyone,” Assistant District Attorney Linda Pisano said on behalf of the 12-year-old, who sat beside her as she read aloud. “He made me hate my family and teachers. I do not ever want to be controlled again.”

Pisano also read a statement from the 10-year-old, whose feet dangled above the floor as she sat beside her.

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“He tried to tell me I am stupid,” she read from the letter. “I believed him.”

After their statements were read to the judge, waiting for each of the girls was a biker, along with a victim advocate from the DA’s office, to lead them out of the courtroom.

After the girls’ exit, defense counsel David Mintz, who asked for 10 years prison and 15 years probation, implored the judge to see beyond Michalski’s crimes and to grant mercy when imposing a sentence.

“He grew up, in his own words, without being able to enjoy childhood … A part of his adult life has been devoted to volunteer efforts at the local school, working with sports teams,” Mintz said trailing off. “Trying to see that children enjoy a better life than what he enjoyed as a child.”

“Oh my God,” a woman from the court gallery said, covering her mouth.

Just before pronouncing sentence, Judge Richard Carey addressed the two young girls, who had been brought back into the courtroom.

“I wanted to also tell you something else I want you to try to remember,” he said. “And that is that you did absolutely nothing wrong. That this is not your fault. That you are not responsible in any way, shape or form for what happened to you.”

The girls, smiling, left the courtroom, surrounded by family and about a dozen bikers.

Michael Majchrowicz can be reached at mmajchrowicz@gazettenet.com.

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