GRANDMOTHER SENTENCED AND FREED
Newsday/Jennifer Sinco Kelleher
Joseph Bullard, a.k.a. Jo-Jo, a 26 year old man, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment oncharges that include first degree rape and first degree sodomy. It all started when a 54 year oldMastic grandmother traded her 15 year old granddaughter for crack and allowed a man to rape andsodomize her. When the woman showed up one night in August 2002 at the nearby PoospatuckReservation looking for crack cocaine, all she had with her were some stolen boxer shorts and hergranddaughter. She found a drug dealer known as Jo-Jo and offered the boxers in return for somecrack, but he refused. She asked to buy drugs on credit, but again he refused. Then Jo-Jo looked atthe granddaughter and said, She looks cute. After getting her drugs, the woman shoved the girltoward Jo-Jo, telling her to go with him and give him a kiss. He took the girl about 10 yards awaybehind a house and raped and sodomized her. The little girl was screaming for grandma, and grandmadidn't come to her aid. After the assault Jo-Jo made the girl urinate, which can wash away DNAevidence of sexual assault. Then at home, the grandmother made the girl shower, further removingany physical evidence. The grandmother initially was arrested in August for endangering the welfareof a child, but is now also charged with first-degree rape and first-degree sodomy under the legaltheory that she acted in concert with the assailant. Bail was set at $20,000 cash and if convicted,she faces up to 25 years in prison.
Bullard's bail was set at $25,000.
Before any witnesses testified against him, Bullard pleaded guilty February 10, 2004 and endedthe trial. Bullard was sentenced February 24 to 6 years in prison. The 15 year old girl walked tothe front of the courtroom and while reading from a sheet of paper, said to him, You have causedme to do something I never did before. You have taught me to hate. You have taught me to hate mygrandmother. On the day the girl was to testify, he accepted a plea deal for the lesser charge offirst degree attempted rape. Just before his sentencing, he told the judge he had been pressuredinto admitting guilt. Bullard was also sentenced to 5 years' post-release supervision.
The grandmother was formally sentenced to six months in prison yesterday but she walked free outof the courtroom because she had already served more than twice that time while awaiting trial.