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Judge rejects former mayor's request for release from prison

A federal judge has rejected the latest attempt by a former Connecticut mayor to have his sentence on child-sex charges shortened.

Former Waterbury Mayor Philip Giordano, who has served 19 years of a 37-year sentence after being convicted of sexually abusing 9- and 11-year-old girls, had requested compassionate release, citing in part the threat to his health from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Giordano, 59, who also said he suffers from chronic spinal pain, was convicted in 2003 of repeatedly abusing the daughter and niece of a drug-addicted prostitute girlfriend, including several times in his city hall office.

He was charged after FBI agents overheard assaults taking place while conducting surveillance for a separate corruption investigation.

In his request for early release, Giordano argued that his health issues — combined with his cooperation in that federal corruption probe, his volunteer work in prison, and the harshness of his sentence — should lead to a new sentence of time served.

U.S. District Judge Stefan Underhill, in an Aug. 12 decision, disagreed, noting that Giordano “does not expressly address the conduct at issue in the underlying crimes in his litany of filings” and has never accepted full responsibility for his conduct.

“Though I do not discount the impact of a lengthy term of incarceration on Giordano or his loved ones, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic, his failure to acknowledge the harm his actions caused does not jibe with his claim that he would pose no danger to the public were his sentence to be reduced to time-served,” Underhill wrote.

Underhill also took issue with Giordano's portrayal of his charity work in prison as a teacher and in helping inmates with legal questions. The judge noted that the former lawyer had been disciplined for taking money from prisoners in exchange for legal work.

Giordano is serving his time in a federal prison in Mississippi.

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