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Illegal immigrant gets 10 years in rape case

July 18, 2012 | 04:49 PM
ELKHORN — "Just thinking about it hurts me," the victim said while sobbing.

The "it" refers to a rape that occurred more than 10 years ago in the basement of a Delavan apartment. The victim, who was 13 at the time, was lured into a laundry room by David Zuccolotto, a then 19-year-old illegal immigrant.

"I hope to God that he suffers. Like he made me," the woman said during Zuccolotto's sentencing.

On Aug. 14, 2001, Zuccolotto held the girl down, covered her mouth, raped her and when he finished threw a $20 bill at her telling her to keep quiet. When she threw the money back, he threatened to kill her and anyone she told.

"Still to this day I have bad dreams of him coming into my house and doing it all over again," the victim, who is now 24, said.

Zuccolotto was arrested after the assault, posted a cash bond and fled to Mexico where he avoided the courtroom for more than 10 years. He was apprehended in Texas this October.

Judge John Race sentenced Zuccolotto, who is now 30, to 10 years in a state prison. He also sentenced him to 10 years of extended supervision, but Zuccolotto will likely be deported after his release from confinement.

Prior to the sentencing, Assistant District Attorney Diane Donohoo and defense attorney Joshua Klaff reached an agreement where the state would not recommend a sentence of more than 10 years of initial confinement and Zuccolotto would plead guilty to felony charges of sexual assault of a child and two counts of bail jumping.

Deputy District Attorney Joshua Grube, who handled the sentencing hearing, asked Race to impose the maximum within the confines of the agreement. Klaff asked for a sentence of five years of initial confinement, and, at the least, for the judge to stay within the confines of the agreement.

"I think he should get the maximum," the victim's father said. "He should get 100 years in my eyes."

During the hearing, Grube described the assault as "awful," and said it was aggravated when Zuccolotto fled the country to live in Mexico.

"Consider the age, the force, how demeaning, how degrading, how humiliating, how disgusting it was," Grube said. "She's left to pick up the pieces while he lives his life."

Grube said the girl lived in fear while Zuccolotto's whereabouts where unknown.

"How can she get on with her life, not knowing where he is and what he is doing," Grube said.

During the assault, Zuccolotto's brother, Ceasar, stopped a friend of the victim from preventing it.

"(The friend) told law enforcement that she could hear muffled screams," Grube said.

Cesar Zuccolotto was convicted of felony false imprisonment, and was sentenced to two years in a state prison.

When giving an opportunity to speak, Zuccolotto apologized for the Crime, cried and begged for forgiveness.

"I'm completely ashamed of what I did," Zuccolotto said through an interpreter. "I know that I hurt her."

Zuccolotto also said he was young at the time of the assault and under the influence of alcohol.

"My mind hadn't matured yet," he said.

Zuccolotto has entered rehabilitation facilities three separate times since the event for alcohol and drug addiction. He said he consumed four shots of tequila before the incident.

"I see that I'm guilty, but not responsible because I was under the effects of alcohol," he said while sobbing. "Please forgive me, I'm so sorry. Please believe that I don't think the same as I did back then. I'm different."


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