'Newspaper ad' child molester gets 6-18 years

NORRISTOWN, Pa. - October 27, 2010

Vito Granieri, 47, of Skippack, was sentenced to six to 18 years in prison for molesting five boys at Saint Eleanor Parish School in Collegeville. He faced more than 200 years.

Action News has learned that he gave authorities the names of three other victims, but their families have declined to bring charges.

The prosecution said it was 'satisified' with the sentence.

Once released, Granieri will be on probation and has to register as a sex offender under Megan's Law.

In court, Granieri tearfully apologized to the victims and their families, saying 'You boys do not deserve what I did to you.'

47-year old Vito Granieri has been sentenced to 6-to-18 years for molesting five boys at St. Eleanor's school in Collegeville. Granieri was an IT assistant at the school. Granieri pleaded guilty in August to indecent assault, endangering the welfare of children, unlawful contact with minors and corruption between 2006 and 2008.

"I betrayed not only my church and my religion but myself as well," Granieri wrote in the Sept. 28 ad in The Times Herald of Norristown. "I am not the person I always thought of myself as being. I have violated the principles I have proclaimed to live by, and I have damaged everyone I know, not only by what I did, but by denying what I did when I was found out."

The paper quoted Granieri as saying he wrote the letter to acknowledge his crimes and to apologize to those he harmed.

"I am trying to understand the causes of my conduct," Granieri said. "If and when I do, perhaps I will be able to help someone else be strong enough to resist doing what I did, and stop it before it starts."

Attorney George Nikolaou, who represents the five victims and their families, called the ad a "pathetic and self-serving attempt to garner sympathy." He said the defendant had "vehemently" denied any wrongdoing and forced the victims to "relive the horror" by testifying about the events.

"These families are insulted and angered at his attempts to continue to manipulate the community. It is too little, too late," Nikolaou said.

Assistant District Attorney Samantha Cauffman said she could not recall another offender addressing the community in a paid ad before sentencing. She called it a "transparent" attempt to win leniency at sentencing.

"I think it's extremely offensive. I think it's like rubbing salt in a wound, not only for the victims' families but for the community at-large that he betrayed," she said.

Granieri had support from family and friends in the courtroom but his wife and three children were not present.

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