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Sapienza sentenced in sex case

QUEENSBURY - Warrensburg restaurateur Anthony Sapienza, 44, was sentenced to significant jail time Jan. 28 following his Nov. 14, 2008 conviction of numerous felonies stemming from illicit sexual contact with two underage girls.

Sapienza was convicted of 17 counts which included charges of Second degree Rape, First degree Criminal Sex Acts with a minor under the age of 15 by means of forcible compulsion and Endangering the Welfare of a Child, according to the Grand Jury Indictment.

Count No. 17 of the indictment was the most egregious and carries with it 15 years of the total 21 2/3 to 35 year sentence, Warren County District Attorney Kate Hogan said Thursday. On top of prison time, Sapienza will also be subject to 20 years probation upon his release from the state penitentiary.

"We made a pre-trial offer, but he maintained his innocence throughout," Hogan said. "Luckily for us, Kevin (Asst. District Attorney Kevin Donlon), the victims and the police did such an excellent job."

In December of 2007, Sapienza was arrested by State Police after being discovered by a trooper in what Donlon called a "dark corner" of the northbound rest area near exit 18 on I-87 with a then 16-year-old Warrensburg girl.

After further investigation, the Warren County District Attorney's Office filed formal charges, alleging that the sexual relationship with the girl had been ongoing for some time. Furthermore, an alleged past sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl from Long Island in 2005 was also uncovered, Donlon said during the opening arguments.

"We will prove to you that there are no coincidences or misunderstandings when it comes to child sex acts," Donlon said. "He (Sapienza) began to groom her, telling her she was pretty and paying special attention to her while she worked for him during the summer of 2007 when she was 15."

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