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United States v. Giordano
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
442 F.3d 30 (2006)
Philip Giordano was the mayor of Waterbury, Connecticut. Giordano had been paying a prostitute, Guitana Jones, for frequent sex for years. Through a phone tap arising from an unrelated investigation into political corruption, law-enforcement agencies heard calls between Jones and Giordano in which they discussed Jones bringing young girls to Giordano to have sex with him. The authorities soon removed Jones’s daughter and niece, who were nine and 11 years old at the time, from Jones’s home after determining that they were the girls being discussed in the calls. The investigation revealed that Jones had brought the girls to Giordano on numerous occasions so that Giordano could sexually assault them. The abuse had occurred in multiple locations, including in the mayor’s office in city hall and in the mayor’s official vehicle. Giordano was eventually charged and convicted of numerous crimes, including two counts of willfully violating the girls’ civil rights under color of law in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 242. At trial the girls testified that they knew Giordano was the mayor at the time of the abuse. They also testified that they did not tell anyone about the assaults for fear of what Giordano could do to them or their families, after Giordano had told them that they would get in trouble and Jones would go to jail if they told. Giordano was eventually sentenced to serve 444 months in prison. Giordano appealed the § 242 convictions, arguing that the evidence failed to show that he was acting under color of law as required by the statute.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Sotomayor, J.)
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