A local man has been given what is in essence a life sentence for molesting a handicapped toddler.
The man, Joseph Anthony Saitta Jr., 23, was sentenced Wednesday to 58 years in prison by Circuit Court Judge Bart Stanley. His sentence will require him to serve 100 percent of the time meaning he will not be eligible for release from prison until he is 81 years old. Judge Stanley also denied bond should he appeal the case.
The sentence comes after Stanley heard evidence against Saitta which went before a jury earlier this year. The jury returned with child rape verdicts against Saitta after a two-day trial.
The charges came after a nurse who was responsible for caring for a 2-year-old handicapped girl noticed something was wrong. She took her suspicions to authorities but in doing so was fired from her job. The nurse had violated policy by leaving the child’s care to take the toddler’s mother to a family member’s house. It was upon their return the nurse began to suspect Saitta, who had been in charge of the girl while they were gone, had molested the child.
In addition to the circumstantial evidence, investigators were able to find direct evidence against Saitta. Specifically, they found bodily fluid belonging to Saitta on one of the child’s outfits. The DNA evidence served as the smoking gun in obtaining a conviction against him.
The fact the victim in the case was both mentally and physically handicapped and totally helpless led to Saitta getting the long sentence.