Man Gets 72 Years for 1984 Crimes He Says He Can't Recall

Michael Sharpe, who claims memory issues, sexually assaulted 4 women, prosecutors said
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2023 2:09 PM CST
Man Gets 72 Years for 1984 Crimes He Says He Can't Recall
Michael Sharpe   (Office of the Chief State's Attorney)

A 71-year-old Connecticut man who received the maximum sentence of 40 to 72 years in prison for kidnapping four women in 1984 apologized in court Monday, despite saying he had no recollection of his crimes. "I don’t know what happened," said Michael Sharpe, whom police identified as the assailant through genetic genealogy, per Fox News. "But I'm so sorry. So, so, so, so sorry." "You deserve so much better," continued Sharpe, who said he had memory problems that prevented his recollection. "No one should ever come into your home and violate you. If I was this person, if I was this monster, I hope he is dead inside that two months of my life."

The four victims, three of whom appeared in court and cried during his comments, said they were sexually assaulted in home invasions spread across June and July of 1984 and experienced lifelong trauma as a result. One victim said she was raped with her 3-year-old daughter in the room, per CT Insider. Another said the assailant left after kissing her on the forehead and saying, "Thanks for being such a good sport." Judge Frank M. D’Addabbo said he considered the callousness of the assaults in sentencing Sharpe, who'd allegedly crept to the women's bedsides while armed and threatened to kill them if they made a sound.

First identified through genetic genealogy, Sharpe was confirmed as the assailant through a DNA sample obtained through a search warrant, authorities said. Arrested in 2020, "he could not be charged with sexual assault because there was a five-year statute of limitations at the time," Fox reports, noting "kidnapping charges have no such time limit." He was convicted of eight counts of kidnapping, two per victim, on Nov. 2, with the jury deliberating for just half an hour, per CT Insider. Sharpe, who formerly served as CEO of a group that ran a charter school, has prior convictions for forgery in Connecticut and embezzlement in California. (More kidnapping stories.)

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