PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A former Philadelphia homicide detective will spend decades behind bars following his conviction earlier this year for sexual assault.
Philip Nordo, 56, was sentenced on Friday to 24.5 to 49 years in prison.
Nordo sat stoic and emotionless as the sentence was handed down. His attorney says he's innocent.
"It's a stiff sentence but the judge has his discretion," said defense attorney Michael Van Der Veen.
Nordo was convicted in June of sexually assaulting multiple male suspects and witnesses.
"This is a terrible abuse of power and this is a terrible abuse of position to coerce and victimize other people," said District Attorney Larry Krasner.
Nordo was fired from the police department in 2017 and charged in 2019.
Krasner took aim at former leadership within the D.A.'s office, saying they had compelling evidence against Nordo 17 years ago and chose not to prosecute him.
"In 2005 they looked the other way, and the consequence of looking the other way was not only the elevation of detective Nordo to a position where he had more leverage to engage in his coercive crimes, but it also meant doing one homicide case after another with a corrupt witness," said Krasner.
Since then, the D.A.'s Office of Conviction Integrity identified 108 cases that needed to be reinvestigated.
In five of those cases the defendants were exonerated, and defendants in two other cases received a reduced sentence.
"There are 20 cases still under review and there are two defendants where we have advocated that their constitutional rights have been violated," said Michael Garmisa, supervisor for the Office of Conviction Integrity. "They're entitled to a new trial."
Fifteen letters were submitted to the court on Friday, most of which were from people close to Nordo calling him a kind, God-fearing man.
Nordo maintains his innocence and has 30 days to appeal his sentence.