Ludlow fondling case finally reaches sentencing
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION - A former Ludlow resident who was originally charged two years ago with having made unwanted sexual advances toward three teenage girls that he knew through his connections to the Black River High School community has finally been sentenced as part of a plea deal.
Jerry Laporte, 57, pled guilty to a felony count of lewd & lascivious conduct and will have to register as a sex offender for the next ten years as a result.
Laporte, a carpenter who has no prior criminal record, was given a 90-day-to-5-year sentence, all of which was suspended except for the first 90 days which will be served under home confinement.
All three of the victims had occasion to stay over at Laporte’s Ludlow residence at various times and later described to authorities what they said were a series of fondling-type incidents that occurred over a span of several years.
One of the girls, who is now a college student, returned to Vermont last week to attend Laporte’s sentencing and read a victim’s impact statement to the court, saying to Laporte directly in the courtroom, “I had trusted you so much. I never thought a grown ‘man’ would put me in the kind of position that you did.”
“You destroyed my trust, you made me feel so violated, and worst of all you even made me feel guilty for your own actions. That night, you watched me drink, then you lured me to your own apartment, then waited for me to fall asleep…,” the girl said, continuing, “I cannot begin to describe how disturbed I felt during your crimes, after them, and still to this day. I have never felt so betrayed by somebody in my entire life.”
“To this day, I still struggle to trust any grown man because of what you did. I cannot even comfortably receive a hug from a grown man because during it, all I can think of is the way you laid your hands on me. I can never look at another adult the same, I will never be able to trust another adult the same.”
“Do you remember when you told me that night to 'not tell anybody or else we’d get into trouble’?” she asked. “You genuinely made me believe that I was to blame for what you did. But today I am well aware of how wrong you were and I now know that there is no one to blame for your crimes but yourself. While your actions have certainly impacted my life, I will never let what you did define me as a person. I will never let you victimize me again, I will never give you that type of satisfaction.”
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