The city's former mayor, already serving a 37-year federal prison sentence for having sex with children, pleaded no contest Tuesday to state child-sex charges and was sentenced to 18 years in prison.
Philip Giordano entered pleas to four counts of first-degree sexual assault and four counts of conspiracy to commit sexual assault, charges based on allegations that he paid a crack-addicted prostitute to bring her 8-year-old daughter and 10-year-old niece to him for oral sex.
Giordano, wearing a wrinkled gray suit and black T-shirt, answered "nolo" — the Latin legal term for "no contest" is "nolo contendere" — to each charge at it was read by Judge Joan Alexander in Waterbury Superior Court.
The no contest pleas mean Giordano does not admit guilt, but agrees not to contest the state's prosecution. Under the plea deal, his state prison sentence will run concurrent to his federal sentence.
Waterbury State's Attorney John Connelly said he agreed to the deal to avoid having the two victims testify a second time about the crimes.
"This is the final chapter in this case," Connelly said.
Giordano, 44, was convicted in 2003 of violating the federal civil rights of the two girls. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the convictions last year, ruling that Giordano was acting as mayor when he sexually abused the girls in City Hall. The Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal.
Ran for Senate
As part of the plea bargain, Giordano will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
The former three-term mayor, who ran for U.S. Senate in 2000, has been in custody since 2001. He will get credit for time served since his arrest, Judge Joan Alexander ruled.
Evidence of the sexual abuse surfaced while federal agents were investigating allegations of corruption against Giordano and overheard phone conversations between him and the prostitute.
FBI agents testified that they suspended their corruption probe before it was complete to arrest Giordano and spare the girls from additional assaults.
The prostitute admitted she provided Giordano with the girls and is serving a 10-year federal sentence.