Anthony S. Perri at his arraignment in Penfield Town Court. (Photo: Norris, Scott/Gannett)
ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- A judge Thursday sentenced a man who fondled children's feet at two libraries to 21 years in prison.
his lengthy criminal record, which included an attempted murder
conviction, Monroe County Court Judge Victoria Argento sentenced Anthony
Perri, 51, to consecutive seven-year sentences for each of three
A jury in October convicted Perri of three counts of
first-degree sexual abuse, a felony, and three counts of endangering the
welfare of a child, a misdemeanor.
Perri removed the shoes of three young girls at the Penfield and Pittsford libraries. He fondled and smelled their feet.
Assistant District Attorney William Gargan urged the judge to sentence Perri to 21 years.
"His experience outside incarceration has been one marked by criminal behavior," Gargan said.
Public Defender Julie Cianca argued for a lesser sentence, saying that
to liken Perri's acts to sex abuse against children "trivializes those
who actually have been sexually abused."
"This isn't the type of behavior that deserves 21 years in prison, comparable to taking a life," she said.
"We're sentencing him for being mentally ill," she said.
At that remark, Perri spoke up: "Please don't say I'm mentally ill."
a chance to speak, Perri launched into a rambling, disjointed diatribe
that wrapped nationwide tragedies into a conspiracy that somehow
culminated in his conviction.
"I'm innocent," he said.
Argento said that Perri's past record, coupled with the crimes at the libraries, justified the sentence.
"Kids should be able to go to the library without being afraid," she said.