Teen struggles with judicial marshals

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BY BRUNO MATARAZZO JR.

REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

WATERBURY — A Naugatuck teenager struggled with judicial marshals as they attempted to place him into custody Jan. 30 after he was sentenced by a judge for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in 2020.Adam Stankiewicz

Adam Stankiewicz, 19, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, suspended after 2½ years, after earlier pleading guilty to fourth-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor.

Stankiewicz was arrested in October 2020 after the victim reported the rape to Naugatuck police in July 2020. He was originally charged with first-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor, but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge as part of a plea deal.

Stankiewicz resisted being placed into custody and struggled with the marshals. The scene brought screams from Stankiewicz’s family members in the court gallery. Marshals cleared out the courtroom for a few minutes until the sentencing resumed.

Judge Frank A. Iannotti handed down the 2½-year sentence, taking into account Stankiewicz’s age at the time of the assault.

“You got yourself in this situation. It’s all your fault and you’re going to be punished for it, but that doesn’t mean it’s the end of your life,” Iannotti said.

Moments earlier, Stankiewicz focused his opportunity to speak on comments made by the victim and her family about the continued harassment the young woman is receiving from the community and his own situation.

Stankiewicz denied telling anyone to text and harass the victim.

“I made a wrong decision and now, what do I have? Nothing. I’m right back to where I came from over something I didn’t do. My life is ruined … I’m never going to be able to be anything now,” Stankiewicz said.

Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney Amy Sedensky said the harassment comments by the victim and her family and responses by Stankiewicz was a “peripheral” and the reason for the sentencing was rape.

The victim was at a friend’s home when they invited Stankiewicz and another boy over. She repeatedly told Stankiewicz “no”, according to the warrant. The friend corroborated the victim’s statement, saying she could hear the victim say “no”. After Stankiewicz left, she encouraged the victim to tell her parents.

An attorney representing the family read a letter written by the victim to the judge and she spoke about the trauma she endured and its lasting effects.

“To this day, I am afraid of Adam. I cannot go grocery shopping with my own mother without worrying if I will see him or if I see someone who truly believes what happened was my fault,” the victim wrote.

She said news of the rape spread around town and she and her family received numerous threats, including death threats.

The victim’s father spoke about the isolation his daughter now experiences after being shunned by her friends and classmates.

“Friendships were lost, tears were shed and it was a time of great tribulation and anxiety for her. At the time of her life when I would expect her friends to rally around her, they abandoned her and treated her like a pariah,” the victim’s father told the court.