In 2009, Allegiant Private Detective Dan Malley, began an investigation in a
child custody case. During that investigation, Malley uncovered that the
father, Gerald Battistoni had raped the daughter of a former girlfriend 20
years earlier.  August 2011, Battistoni was found guilty of 4 counts of child
rape and sentenced to 10-12 years in state prison.

Read more below:

Gerald Battistoni of Ware found guilty of rape and abuse of child for
events that happened 20 years ago

Published: Tuesday, August 23, 2011, 9:42 PM
By Buffy Spencer, The Republican
 

SPRINGFIELD – Gerald Battistoni was convicted Tuesday for raping a child 20
years ago.

A Hampden Superior Court jury found Battistoni, 49, of Ware, guilty of four counts
of rape and abuse of a child. He will be sentenced Thursday by Hampden Superior
Court Judge Mary Lou Rup.

A custody battle between Battistoni and his ex-wife, who is no relation to the
victim, sparked the charges last year.

Jurors deliberated nearly 10 hours before reaching a verdict on the crimes
occurring during a period including 1991 in Palmer. The jury acquitted Battistoni of
two counts of rape and abuse of a child.

Assistant District Attorney Patrick S. Sabbs said jurors must remember that the
woman in her early 30s who testified on the stand during the trial was only a 13-
year-old girl when Battistoni repeatedly had sex with her. During closing
arguments he held up a photograph of her at age 13.

He said the victim at that time was scared and confused, and Battistoni told her he
wanted them to be together when she was older.

The victim had testified Battistoni made it seem like he wanted a relationship with
her and everything they were doing was “OK.”

Witnesses for the prosecution included the victim’s mother; an ex-girlfriend of
Battistoni; and Battistoni’s ex-wife. The latter two witnesses said Battistoni told
them he’d had sex with the victim.

Defense lawyer John O’Neill said the whole case was a fiction created together by
people who had an ax to grind with Battistoni. He said Battistoni was not on trial for
being “a bad boyfriend.”

Sabbs said the idea there is “some gigantic conspiracy” against Battistoni
between the witnesses does not make sense.

The victim said she told only her best friend at the time what was happening. The
best friend testified the victim had told her when they were both 13 she was
having sex with Battistoni but made her promise not to tell anyone.

Sabbs said the fact the charges were brought in 2010, so long after the crimes, was
not because the victim sought to see Battistoni charged.

An investigator working for Battistone’s ex-wife testified the victim’s name came
to his attention and he interviewed the victim.

The investigator said he took the information the victim gave him about her
relationship at age 13 with Battistoni to state police, who began an investigation.

Battistoni has been free on his own recognizance since he was arraigned in
September 2010.

Gerald Battistoni sentenced to 10-12-year state prison stint for child
rape which happened 20 years ago

Published: Thursday, August 25, 2011, 1:58 PM     
By Buffy Spencer, The Republican  

SPRINGFIELD –A woman told a Hampden Superior Court judge Thursday that
Gerald Battistoni took advantage of her when she was 13 years old by repeatedly
raping her.
"He used me,” said the victim, who is now in her thirties. “He took away
something I could never get back.”

Battistoni was sentenced Thursday to 10 to 12 years in state prison for the rapes,
which took place 20 years ago.

A Hampden Superior Court jury earlier this week found Battistoni, 49, of Ware,
guilty of four counts of rape and abuse of a child.
Judge Mary Lou Rup sentenced Battistoni to the state prison sentence followed by
seven years probation.
Assistant District Attorney Patrick S. Sabbs asked Rup to set the sentence at 20 to
25 years followed by 10 years probation.
“I think he preyed upon her. I think that is despicable,” Sabbs said, adding that
Battistoni knew the girl was vulnerable and told her he loved her and would be
with her when she was older.

He said the victim testified the rapes happened “dozens of times, possibly 100 or
so times” over a period of a year or more.
Defense lawyer John O’Neill asked that Battistoni get no time behind bars but get
seven years probation and continue counseling and being medicated.

O’Neill said Battistoni has never been charged with any other crimes but this in his
life.
He said during the time period of the allegations Battistoni had an undiagnosed
and untreated bipolar condition that has now been successfully treated.

A custody battle between Battistoni and his ex-wife, who is no relation to the
victim, sparked the charges last year.

Jurors deliberated nearly 10 hours before reaching a verdict on the crimes
occurring during a period including 1991 in Palmer.

The woman who was victimized 20 years ago said she chose to run from her
feelings – to try to forget the abuse by Battistoni – and used alcohol and drugs to
numb her pain.

Witnesses for the prosecution included the victim’s mother; an ex-girlfriend of
Battistoni; and Battistoni’s ex-wife.

O’Neill had argued during trial the whole case was a fiction created together by
people who had an ax to grind with Battistoni.

Sabbs said the fact the charges were brought in 2010, so long after the crimes, was
not because the victim sought to see Battistoni charged.

An investigator working for Battistoni’s ex-wife testified the victim’s name came to
his attention and he interviewed the victim.
The investigator said he took the information the victim gave him about her
relationship at age 13 with Battistoni to state police who began an investigation in
2010.

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NOTE: Battistoni's attorney John O'Neill is noted as saying "Battistoni has
never been charged with any other crimes but this in his life."
is simply
untrue. Battistoni has a lengthy criminal record. Anyone with further
information regarding to Gerald Battistoni can contact Dan Malley.