US Marijuana Party

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Ex-Navy recruiter will serve 12 years for molesting recruits

NEW IBERIA (AP) — A former U.S. Navy recruiter convicted of molesting three recruits in 2003 must serve 12 years in prison.

“He did something wrong, something terrible to people who were the most vulnerable,” State District Lori Landry said before handing down the sentence for Joseph Sampy Jr., 27, of Jeanerette. “He took advantage of his authority.”

Landry sentenced Sampy to four years on each of three counts of sexual battery. She ordered the sentences served consecutively without parole, probation or suspension.

One of the victims said Sampy told him to disrobe at a recruiting office in New Iberia, saying it was part of a physical examination, and touched him inappropriately. Sampy was arrested after one of the recruits told authorities.

Sampy pleaded guilty to the charges May 17. However, when he took the stand before sentencing on Thursday, he said he regretted pleading guilty and that he did so on the advice of a third party.

“This was a decision he made based solely on the fact that he was scared,” said his father, Joseph Sampy Sr. “I know he didn’t do anything wrong. He was just basically afraid.”

Those remarks only seemed to irritate the judge.

“It’s everybody else’s fault, is what I’m hearing,” she said. “And that’s unfortunate. Y’all gave (the victims) absolutely no respect today. This was an opportunity for someone to stand and say, ’I’m sorry for what happened.”’

Assistant District Attorney Angela Narcisse urged Landry to give Sampy a maximum, 10-year sentence, given Sampy’s military rank and the victims’ inexperience.

The victims “were under the impression that you don’t question someone in a position of power and authority,” she said.

Narcisse said the offenses were especially “egregious” in that they were committed during a time of war.

“They wanted to serve their country,” she said. “All three would have been fine sailors.”


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