Man Gets 9 Years for Rape of Girl, 5
A man accused of raping a young girl in Otis has been sentenced. Steven Hyland was given to up to nine years in prison for raping the girl when she was 5 years old. The girl, who is now 12, said in a written statement - He won’t be able to victimize any more innocent children.
The Berkshire Eagle reports, Hyland was convicted May 14 of raping the girl, exposing himself to her and warning her not to tell anyone during summer 2011 in the Otis Reservoir area.Jurors took about six hours over the course of two days to reach their verdict.
Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Joseph Yorlano, who prosecuted the case, asked Judge Maureen Hogan to impose a 10- to 13-year prison sentence, despite Hyland's lack of prior criminal record.
Yorlano noted the assault took place out in the open against an especially vulnerable victim.
He described the girl as one of the strongest people he's ever met, noting that she carried the secret of that assault with her for years before finally revealing it to her mother.
"This is a parent's worst nightmare," he said.
Hyland's attorney, Richard LeBlanc, countered with a recommendation of a four- to six-year prison sentence followed by probation.
LeBlanc didn't excuse Hyland's behavior, but noted the sentencing guidelines cover a wide range of offenses and aggravating factors and Hyland's should skew toward the lower end of those guidelines considering his client's lack of record and that the lone assault was not a violent act.
"I don't think Steven is a lost cause," said LeBlanc, adding that his sentence recommendation was still significant. "It's not a walk in the park."
Judge Hogan apologized to the victim and her family on Hyland's behalf.
"I'm sorry you had to go through this," she said. "I hope she heals from the trauma."
"You took advantage of her vulnerability to commit these crimes," Hogan told Hyland before imposing the sentence.
"Pedophilia is a disorder," said Hogan. "Acting on it is a crime."
After he serves his sentence, Hyland will be placed on probation for five years, during which time he must have no contact with the victim, undergo sex offender and mental health counseling and submit to GPS monitoring.