A couple from Corinth, New York, are charged with sexually abusing two underage females over several years, the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday morning.
Arthur A. Gannon, 46, and his wife, Heidi L. Gannon, 39, were arrested on multiple sex crime charges following a police investigation into complaints of repeated abuse, the sheriff’s office said.
“It is alleged that both defendants, over a period of several years, did subject two minor females to repeated sexual abuse,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement. “Arthur and Heidi Gannon did restrain the children against their will and force them to perform or engage in sexual acts, photographing them in the process.”
The victims are related to the defendants, and along with two other children from the residence, were in the care of a family member, police said, adding that additional charges in the case were possible.
Each defendant was charged with two counts of first-degree attempted rape, first-degree criminal sex act and first-degree sex abuse, all felonies, and endangering the welfare of a minor, according to the sheriff’s office.
The Gannons reside on Palmer Avenue in Corinth, but were being held in county jail on $75,000 bail, according to police. The sheriff’s office was assisted by Saratoga County Child Protective Services.
BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. (NEWS10) – It took nearly 2.5 hours to reach the verdict. He now faces 25 years to life in prison.
The prosecution says it was difficult to listen to the victims recount the abuse suffered for years.
It was judgement day for Gannon after a seven week trial in Saratoga County Court. A jury of nine men and three women found Gannon guilty of sexually abusing two young girls related to him.
The 47-year-old was found guilty on all 10 counts, including predatory sexual assault and 1st degree sexual abuse.
Sheriff Deputies say the abuse went on for years. Gannon was accused of taking photos and restraining the victims against their will, inside his Palmer Avenye apartment in Corinth.
It is the worst sexual abuse case Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo says he’s ever seen in his nearly 40 year career.
The prosecution says the hardest part was preparing the victims for court.
BALLSTON SPA - Arthur Gannon was convicted of predatory sexual assault of two children.
After a seven-week trial, it took a jury just 90 minutes (or 2.5 hours) to find the 48-year-old Corinth man guilty of all ten counts.
The abuse took place over six years and started when the girls were just 8 and 9 years old.
He tied them, bound them, blindfolded and abused them.
Tuesday in court, an adult friend read statements that the girls, now teenagers, had written.
"I jolt awake at night from terrible nightmares that bring me back to those nights that I was tied up and touched against my will," wrote one of the teens.
Michele Schettino, the assistant district attorney who prosecuted Gannon asked the judge to impose the maximum sentence.
Gannon's attorney told his client not to speak during sentencing but he did any way. "I shall have my day in court. The truth will come out. Unfortunately, I do feel sorry for all the parties," Gannon said.
Gannon portrayed himself as the victim, even comparing himself to a Jew in Nazi Germany. Judge Jim Murphy didn't care for what Gannon had to say.
Murphy sentenced him to the max: 69 years to life.
"The defendant's criminal conduct has caused the victims a lifetime of pain and misery and they will live with the ravages of the defendant's actions for the rest of their lives," Murphy said.
As he was led from the courthouse in handcuffs, Gannon said he was wrongly accused. "And I have the evidence to prove it," Gannon said.
He invited NewsChannel 13 to interview him at the Saratoga County Jail. During a 20-minute conversation he proclaimed innocence more than a half-dozen times.
NewsChannel 13: Are you saying as we sit here today that you did not ever sexually abuse those girls?
Gannon: "No, I did not. I did not."
Gannon accused the girls of fabricating the story to avoid being labeled by social services as "Persons in Need of Supervision.
Saratoga County District Attorney Karen Heggen said it was the words of the girls that brought Gannon to justice.
"It was the testimony of those two tender victims who re-lived the horrors of what the defendant did to them over long periods of time."
Gannon plans to appeal the conviction.
His wife is expected to be sentenced to 10 years in prison for her involvement in the abuse.
By Staff report
BALLSTON SPA — The wife of a Corinth man sentenced last week to 69 years to life for sexually abusing two young victims received 10 years behind bars and 20 years of post-release supervision for her role, the Saratoga County District Attorney's Office said.
On the charge of first degree criminal sex act, Judge James Murphy III sentenced Heidi Gannon on Monday to 10 years while she received seven years for the first-degree sex abuse conviction. Both are felonies. The penalties will run concurrently.
Murphy also imposed a full stay away order of protection that prohibits Gannon, 41, from having any contact with the victims and she will have to register as a sex offender when released from prison.
Prosecutors say Gannon failed the two victims and put herself first by doing nothing when her husband Arthur, 48, repeatedly molested the pair, including taking graphic photographs, over a more than 5-year period.
In May, Heidi Gannon pleaded guilty to the two felonies and then later testified against her husband during a trial that ended over the summer with a jury convicting him of the sex crimes.