Local gets 25 years for 'sex tourism' conviction

May 28, 2009 4:11:29 AM PDT
A federal judge has sentenced a wealthy New Jersey businessman to 25 years in prison on charges he traveled to eastern Europe to molest boys in exchange for money and gifts.

Forty-five-year-old Anthony Mark Bianchi, of North Wildwood, N.J., was sentenced Wednesday. He was convicted of having sex with or attempting to have sex with at least a half-dozen boys on foreign soil on trips from 2003 to 2005.

Several boys were brought to Philadelphia from their isolated village in Moldova to testify against Bianchi during the three-week trial. He has been in prison since his arrest in January 2006.

Bianchi's defense lawyer has said the defense was crippled by the government's threat to have his Moldovan co-counsel charged with witness intimidation if he appeared in Philadelphia to testify.

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