A Linwood man was sentenced to three years in prison for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old boy in 2011, acting Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain announced Friday.
Stephen Giannantonio, 58, of the 2200 block of Shore Road, was sentenced in connection with inappropriately sexually touching a 12-year-old Somers Point boy who was left in his care. Linwood police began investigating Giannantonio after family members of the boy reported that on Nov. 9, 2011, Giannantonio, a friend of the boy’s father, had inappropriately touched the boy while he was babysitting him at his Linwood home.
On Nov. 13, 2011, Linwood police arrested Giannantonio and charged him with second degree sexual assault and third-degree endangering the welfare of a child.
On June 4, 2013, Giannantonio pleaded guilty to the most serious offense, second degree sexual assault. In accordance with the plea agreement, which spared the victim and his family the burden of a public trial, the defendant, who has no prior criminal convictions, was sentenced in the third-degree range at the discretion of the Court.
“The boy’s father left his son in the care of the defendant whom he trusted and in turn the defendant chose to victimize the boy instead,” argued Assistant Prosecutor John Flammer during sentencing.
Giannantonio is required to serve 85-percent of the sentence before becoming eligible for parole Under the No Early Release Act (NERA).
In addition, Giannantonio is required to register as a sex offender in accordance with Megan’s Law and will be subject to parole supervision for life, according to Flammer.
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