Philip Giordano, 40, the three-term mayor of Waterbury and GOP nominee for Senate in 2000, was convicted March 25, 2003 - his 40 birthday - of violating the rights of two preteen girls by sexually abusing them while in office.  He was on trial on federal civil-rights charges, one count of conspiracy and 11 counts of using a telephone to entice or solicit children for sex. He is charged with using an interstate facility to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity and conspiracy to commit that offense. He has been held without bail since his arrest July 26, 2001. Area newspapers have reported that the case involves two girls. The mother of one girl has been charged as an accessory. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison. A federal judge refused to set bond and he will be held without bail. A Connecticut teen told investigators that Giordano paid her to have sex with him and to watch him have sex with her aunt twice, she was paid $40. The teen, now 17, told investigators from the Connecticut Department of Children and Families that when she was 16, he paid her to let him perform oral sex on her. She is the cousin of the 9 and 10 year old girls he is charged with having lured into sex. Connecticut Governor John G. Rowland called for the Waterbury Board of Aldermen to remove Giordano from office for dereliction of duty. He has repeatedly called on Giordano to resign in the wake of the mayor's arrest and said the fact that Giordano has been away from his job was enough to warrant his removal. Acting Mayor Sam Caligiuri has said the city's lawyers are researching whether officials have the authority to stop paying Giordano's $76,000 salary.

The 31 year old mother, who is a convicted prostitute, pleaded guilty on September 18 to state charges that she helped arrange sexual encounters between Giordano and her daughter and niece. As part of her plea agreement, she admitted in Waterbury Superior Court to charges of conspiracy and risk of injury to a minor. Prosecutors say he paid the woman to arrange sex with the 9 and 11 year old girls. She signed an agreement to cooperate in the federal and state cases against him. The woman faced up to 10 years in prison on the state charges, but her agreement calls for the sentences to run concurrently.

Giordano's DNA was found on physical evidence taken from the mayor's office and his law office, but could not be linked to the two girls he is accused of sexually abusing.  The Sunday Republican reported it had obtained copies of FBI lab tests that confirmed the presence of Giordano's DNA in semen stains but found no DNA matching the two young girls.  No semen was found in his 1999 Ford Crown Victoria, where authorities alleged he had a sexual encounter with the girls.

Giordano, who will faces life imprisonment at his sentencing, showed no emotion as the verdict was read.  Two days after being convicted, Giordano returned to the city and was formally arrested and arraigned on state charges he sexually assault the two girls.  He said nothing as he was presented in Superior Court on six counts each of sexual assault, conspiracy to commit sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor.

He faced life in prison on the federal charges but Waterbury State's Attorney John Connelly said he wanted to pursue the state case in the event Giordano gets out of federal prison or wins an appeal.  Each state charge carries a sentence of 10 to 20 years.  

US District Judge Alan Nevas denounced Giordano as a sexual predator and sentenced him to 37 years in prison.  Nevas told Giordano, Your conduct is the worst I have ever seen.  I've seen drug dealers, murderers.  What you did is indescribable.  

Giordano pleaded not guilty June 18 to the state charges.  During a brief appearance in Waterbury Superior Court, he pleaded not guilty to six counts each of sexual assault, risk of injury to a minor and conspiracy to commit sexual assault.

An attorney for Giordano filed a federal appeal January 30, 2004, arguing that the government overstepped its bounds when it prosecuted him on the child-sex charges.  In the appeal filed with the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York, attorney Andrew Bowman said the conviction should be overturned because the feds were not authorized to record conversations between Giordano and the hooker who arranged the meetings with the girls.

(Waterbury, Connecticut)