A state appeals court has rejected the appeal of a Corinth man who was sentenced to 69-years-to-life in state prison for repeatedly sexually abusing two young girls.
The Appellate Division of state Supreme Court unanimously denied challenges by Arthur A. Gannon to a number of rulings during his 2016 trial before Saratoga County Judge James Murphy.
Murphy sentenced Gannon to the maximum term of consecutive life terms in prison for sexual abuse that Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo said was the worst child sex abuse case he had seen during his law enforcement career. Gannon’s wife, Heidi L. Gannon, pleaded guilty to two felony sex counts after her husband’s trial, and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
The Sheriff’s Office arrested the couple in July 2015 after an investigation into complaints of sexual abuse of the girls over a five-year period that began in 2009. The couple was acquainted with the girls, one of whom testified she was tied up before she was molested by Mr. Gannon, and that he would photograph and videotape the assaults.
Arthur Gannon, who had a prior child sex conviction in 1990, was found guilty of felony predatory sexual assault against a child, rape and lesser counts after a seven-week trial that ended in July 2016.
Gannon’s lawyer, Danielle Neroni Reilly, argued that Murphy erred in pre-trial evidentiary rulings, that Mr. Gannon was denied his right to testify before the grand jury that indicted him, a prosecutor made improper comments before the jury and improper witness testimony was allowed.
In particular, the defense questioned a ruling by Murphy that allowed evidence related to prior sexual abuse incidents into evidence. But Supreme Court Justice Stan Pritzker found that Murphy’s ruling was proper.
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“County Court’s (Murphy’s) ruling reflected a careful and thoughtful balancing of the probative value of the proffered evidence against its prejudicial impact,” Pritzker wrote.
Saratoga County District Attorney Karen Heggen said the court’s decision confirmed her office’s belief that Gannon should be jailed for “heinous” crimes.
“The court’s decision validates what the evidence proved at trial, that this defendant is a monster and his 69-year sentence will protect society from the monster that he is,” Heggen said in a prepared statement.
At his sentencing, Gannon claimed the allegations against him were fabricated and questioned whether he was given a fair trial. He also read a verse from the Bible and compared the treatment he received to the Jews during the Holocaust.
Gannon, 49, could seek to appeal to the state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals.
He is serving his sentence at maximum-security Clinton Correctional Facility, and is eligible for parole in 2082.