A Utica man who sexually abused two children in the city of Rome has been sentenced to prison time.
In Oneida County Court on Wednesday, James Caruso was sentenced to seven years in prison. Officials say Caruso sexually abused two female children, ages eight and 10, separately at a residence in Rome on July 31.
Caruso was indicted on four charges: first-degree sexual abuse, first-degree attempted sexual abuse, and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. According to the Oneida County District Attorney's Office, a trial took place the week of April 30, and on the third and final day of the trial Caruso pleaded guilty.
Caruso was offered a plea deal of seven years in prison and 10 years of post-release supervision if he pleaded guilty to all four counts. Seven years is the maximum sentence for the top count of the indictment, according to the DA's office, but he would have faced additional consecutive time if he was convicted on each count.
Caruso was sentenced Wednesday on all four charges, but the sentences will be served concurrently, or at the same time.
Caruso said that he wants to get counseling in prison so that it never happens again, and his attorney said his client takes responsibility for what he did – but the judge pointed out why he has a problem with that.
“My problem with your stepping up and taking responsibility when you did, is that it was literally in the eleventh hour,” said Judge Bauer. “These young girls, as you admitted to me, were victimized once, and then had to be victimized again, and relive what they went through here. They had to sit here in a room in front of a bunch of strangers and relive what you did to them.”
Bauer also issued an order of protection for each of the victims, which expire in 2042.