Criminal Justice

Former defense attorney sentenced to 10 to 30 years for raping unconscious client

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A former defense attorney and son of a prominent Philadelphia-area judge was sentenced Monday to 10 to 30 years in prison for the rape of an unconscious client nearly two years ago, the Philadelphia Daily News reported

Vincent A. Cirillo Jr. was convicted in February of rape and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse for performing sexual acts on a woman he was representing in a custody case. According to the article, Cirillo went to the woman’s house in August 2015 to discuss her case. They both drank, and prosecutors say Cirillo had sex with the then-22-year-old woman after she blacked out, and took photos. Cirillo initially pleaded guilty, but withdrew that plea and went to trial, arguing that he believed the sex was consensual.

The 58-year-old Cirillo maintained that stance in comments to the court Monday. In a “rambling account of his life and the case against him” at the sentencing hearing, the Daily News said, Cirillo apologized to the woman and her parents, but insisted that he thought the encounter was consensual. He argued that the woman was exaggerating the scope of the trauma caused by the rape, noting that she had sex with someone else days later and has since given birth to another child. Claims that she was traumatized and couldn’t be with other people, he said, were “all the buzzwords.”

Cirillo also said he was drinking too much and using cocaine at the time, and that they “began to impair my ability to think clearly.” He characterized the rape and its fallout, which included losing his law license, as a rock-bottom moment.

The victim didn’t speak at the sentencing hearing, but her mother and former boyfriend testified that the woman couldn’t sleep after the rape, struggled to trust people, lost custody of her children and went to therapy. Through tears, the victim’s mother said, “I’ve been waiting for this moment to tell you you destroyed my family.”

Judge Steven T. O’Neill told Cirillo that his version of events was “convoluted, distorted or delusional” and that the incident “was rape.”

Cirillo’s attorney, Nino Tinari, said he would appeal the verdict.

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