A Sarpy County, Nebraska man convicted and sentenced to at least 15 years in prison for sexually assaulting two children, received a new sentence Tuesday after a retrial, and it does not include more jail time.
Deputy Sarpy County Attorney Jennifer Jessig told WOWT 6 News, Philip Armstrong, 73, pled to two felony counts of intentional child abuse. Each count carries a maximum sentence of up to five years, one per victim. Armstrong was sentenced immediately to four to five years on each count to run concurrent. However, because Armstrong has already served time for the initial conviction in 2009, he will not face more jail time.
Why concurrent sentences? Why? They are so stupid!
Armstrong was initially sentenced to 15 to 30 years in 2009. After an appeal, the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled his attorney, Steve Delaney, made major errors in the case and that it might have affected the outcome of the trial.
According to the mistrial ruling, the major error was how video evidence was used. Delaney showed Armstrong a recording of the victims' interview with investigators and Armstrong then showed the video to members of his family. The family members were initially going to be witnesses for the defense, but after seeing the video they were not allowed to testify.
Seriously, Delaney gave Armstrong a copy of the victims' interview? Is the Nebraska bar looking into Delaney's conduct? He should not go unpunished for such a careless act.
The mother of the victims sent WOWT 6 News reporter Lena Tillett the following statement:
"In 2008, Project Harmony did everything they promised to maintain the privacy and safety of my children. For this I am deeply grateful. Everyone that came in contact with my children, treated them with the greatest amount of respect.
Mr. Steve Delaney, Mr. Philip Armstrong and the members of his family were the ones who mishandled the video evidence in this hearing, that ultimately resulted in Mr. Armstrong winning his appeal. Although no felony charges were ever filed against Delaney or the members of the Armstrong family, they tampered with evidence.
It is my hope, that this will NEVER happen again to another victim. It is my hope that this will not hinder victims from coming forward in crime cases like this. This was a unique situation where one incompetent lawyer, and a family that was desperate to find some way to dispute my girls' testimonies resulted in the failure of the judicial system.
Although Mr. Armstrong will not be on the sex offender registry, we know what he did. He knows what he did. Our neighbors know what he did. His family knows what he did. It is he who will have to carry this guilt with him forever. As for my girls, they are strong, beautiful and intelligent young women who will not allow Mr. Armstrong's actions define them."
And, so, why is he not on the sex offender registry when he admitted two felony counts of intentional child abuse? I don't get it.
|Sarpy County, Nebraska|