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March 11, 2009

Do prosecutors gone bad often get breaks at sentencing?

This local story from Pennsylvania, headlined "Former prosecutor gets house arrest for corrupting minors," has me wondering if all bad apple prosecutors get good breaks at sentencing. Here are the basics:

Anthony Cappuccio had an image that inspired trust. In the Bucks County District Attorney's Office, he was a rising star who aggressively prosecuted corrupt public officials, drunken drivers, and child molesters. At First United Methodist Church in Perkasie, Cappuccio was seen as a married father of two, a police officer's son entrusted with serving as a youth leader. Cappuccio, 32, recklessly betrayed that trust.

He provided alcohol and smoked pot with some of the teens at concerts, then let them drive home. He engaged in a lengthy sexual relationship with one of the boys. He viewed pornographic images of young males on his office computer. He cheated on his pregnant wife, once cutting short a vacation for a rendezvous with the teen boy....

Cappuccio pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of children, corrupting minors, and other offenses. Those crimes will cost Cappuccio no time in jail, though.

Judge C. Theodore Fritsch Jr. gave Cappuccio three to 23 months in the Bucks County prison, but allowed him to serve it on house arrest. Cappuccio also will be granted work-release while serving the sentence, which will be followed by seven years of probation.

Senior Deputy Attorney General E. Marc Costanzo, who prosecuted the case, said the victims' families had hoped for more. "They anticipated that he'd have an actual sentence of incarceration, rather than what basically amounts to being grounded in his own bedroom for a few months," Costanzo said. The victims' parents declined to speak to reporters.

Cappuccio was a senior deputy district attorney until September, when police in Richland Township found him partially clothed with a 17-year-old boy in his parked car.

This additional local coverage reports that the relatively lenient sentence given to the former prosecutor "infuriated the victims’ parents and members of the Perkasie church where Cappuccio met the boys through his work as a youth group leader."

March 11, 2009 at 09:36 AM | Permalink


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I guess this is to be expected. Here in the midwest, prosecutors who "go bad", say, by excluding black jurors based on their race or gender are typically punished by being promoted to the U.S. Attorney's office or judgeships.

Posted by: dyn | Mar 11, 2009 10:12:07 AM

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