NEWS CHANNEL 13
DON LEHMAN firstname.lastname@example.org
|Christopher E. Lee is seen Friday in Washington County Court. Lee listened |
to statements by one of the girls and a mother of other girl who
he repeatedly sexually abused.
Washington County Judge Kelly McKeighan called Christopher E. Lee a “pedophile” and dismissed his explanation that drug abuse prompted him to molest the girls.
“I don’t know how drugs caused you to take sexual interest in children,” McKeighan said.
Lee, 34, was sentenced to 12.5 years in state prison and 20 years on parole for his guilty plea to two felony counts of criminal sexual act for repeated sexual assaults of girls under the age of 13 who he knew. One was 4 when the abuse began.
The older of the two girls read a short statement during sentencing, telling the judge she was “embarrassed” by being victimized and that it “really hurts.”
“I feel disappointed I didn’t tell someone sooner,” she said.
The mother of the younger girl called Lee a “monster” and said the abuse continues to traumatize the girl. She is “terrified” when her mother leaves her alone, she added.
“You have radically changed the way she looks at herself and the world. She is angry all the time and she can’t understand why,” she said. “She has been given a life sentence of hurt and shame. You stole her innocence and security.”
Washington County Assistant District Attorney Sara Fischer praised the girls for their strength and maturity, and said no prison sentence would be enough for what they had been through. A decision was made to strike a plea deal to spare them more trauma of going through trial.
“The irony is you get a break because we don’t want these children to go through more,” McKeighan said.
Lee read a lengthy statement in which he apologized several times, blamed drugs for causing him to lose “control” and called himself a “caring person.” He said the crimes “leaves an enormous hole in my heart that may never heal.”
I think you have an enormous hole in your head that will never heal. No-one forced you to take drugs! Even after molesting a 4 year old you continued to take drugs. That was your decision! You preferred your right to take drugs over the innocence of a small child. I hope you appeal the sentence and I hope they increase it. You belong in prison with the other perverts.
Lee’s lawyer, Martin McGuinness, said his client plans to appeal the sentence.
Lee implied during his statement that he believed the sentence was too harsh for someone with no criminal record.
The maximum on the charge is 25 years in state prison. Lee was arrested in February, after an investigation by Hudson Falls Police and State Police.
|Hudson Falls, NY|