updated 1/17/2007 5:48:09 PM ET 2007-01-17T22:48:09

A man convicted of murder after nearly beheading his stepfather with a samurai sword was sentenced Wednesday to a term of 25 years to life in prison.

Zachary Gibian, 20, was convicted last month of second-degree murder in the February 2005 death of his stepfather, Scott Nager, who was killed as he slept on his living room couch.

Gibian testified that Nager had sexually abused him since age 15 — a claim prosecutors termed “preposterous.”

Gibian, of Hauppauge, made no statement at his sentencing.

The victim’s sister, Anne Leonardi, speaking on behalf of the family, had asked the court to give Gibian the maximum sentence.

Gibian took responsibility for the crimes in written and videotaped confessions to police just hours after the killing but changed his story on the witness stand, insisting it was his mother who inflicted the fatal blows after she discovered her husband sexually abusing him.

Prosecutors contended that Nager, 51, a retired New York City police officer, was not a sexual predator but a concerned parent faced with a rebellious teenager.

Years of sexual abuse alleged
Gibian, the lone defense witness, claimed that on numerous occasions, beginning when he was about 15, Nager got drunk and repeatedly forced him to perform a sex act — sometimes at gunpoint.

None of the abuse claims was made in Gibian’s written and taped confessions.

His mother, Laura Nager, has insisted through her attorney that she was not the killer. She has not been charged with any crime — although investigators say the case remains an open investigation.

After the sentencing, her lawyer, Steven Wilutis, said prosecutors told him to expect an arrest, although he was not told on what charge. Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney John Scott Prudenti declined to comment, other to say “stay tuned.”

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