Matthew V. Scannapieco, 71, was once the respected mayor of Marlboro, New Jersey, but when he faced corruption charges for taking almost a quarter-million dollars in bribes, he moved out of the state to neighboring Delaware to “get a fresh start.” Unfortunately, that “fresh start” included repeatedly raping a 6-year-old girl.
Now Scannapieco, who has already served nearly two years in prison on the bribery and tax evasion convictions, will likely be returning to prison for the rest of his life, after pleading guilty to continuous sexual abuse of a child, first-degree rape, and first-degree unlawful sexual contact earlier this year, according to the Delaware Department of Justice, as reported this week by New Jersey’s Asbury Park Press newspaper.
The former mayor relocated to Middletown, Delaware in 2005 after leaving office in 2003, as the corruption scandal began to surface. Scannapieco was accused of, and later pleaded guilty to, taking about $245,000 in bribes from a local developer.
His sexual abuse of the girl, identified only as a relative of the disgraced public official, began soon after he moved into his new house in an upscale area of the town, after splitting from his second wife.
The unlawful sexual contact continued for three years, until Scannapieco finally entered his guilty plea and went to prison in 2008. He got out in 2010 and had only one more instance in which he “touched” the girl after his release.
But last year, the now-teenage girl informed her mother of what had happened to her several years earlier, and the sexual abuse charges were leveled against Scannapieco.
He now faces anywhere between 12 and 58 years in prison, depending on what a judge decides. Either way, the sentence appears likely to keep the once-powerful politician locked up for the remainder of his life, or close to it.
The ex-mayor’s lawyer, T. Andrew Rosen — a public defender — said that Scannapieco “is disgusted with himself” over his sexual abuse of the underage girl.
Unusually, Matthew Scannapieco displayed no other outward signs of pedophilia. The young girl he has admitted abusing appears to be his only victim, and no evidence of child pornography was found in his home, as would typically be the case with pedophiles.
[Images: File Photo, New Castle County Sheriff’s Office]