As Acting Schenectady County Court Judge Polly Hoye handed down the sentence Thursday in the rape and kidnapping case of Joseph Kruppenbacher, one of his victims sat in the gallery, quietly crying.
Kruppenbacher, 63, of Albany, had been convicted on nearly a dozen counts. A jury found he took prostitutes from Schenectady into Rotterdam and attacked them.
Hoye handed down the toughest possible sentence, more than 75 years, reflecting consecutive time for four separate victims, essentially a life sentence. The victims, Hoye said, were fortunate they weren’t killed.
The victim in court on Thursday, Andrea Amanatides, 35, remained emotional after the sentencing but thankful that the entire ordeal was over. She asked that her name be used. She wanted it known what Kruppenbacher did to her, and to show that she has gotten past the life of prostitution and drugs.
“It’s scary to live through something like that and finally seek justice when you don’t think anyone will believe you because of the lifestyle you lived,” Amanatides said.
“I don’t know what to say. I’m glad it’s over and I don’t have to look back on that life anymore.”
She had intended to speak at Kruppenbacher’s sentencing, but arrived too late to take part. She was not too late to watch the man who attacked her be sentenced to a long prison sentence.
Comments during the proceedings were left to prosecutor Michele Schettino.
Kruppenbacher lived a double life, Schettino told Judge Hoye. In his dark life, he intended to control and dominate women, prostitutes in Schenectady County.
He even continued his acts after being questioned by police. At the time there was not enough evidence to arrest him.
“He continued his violence because he didn’t care,” Schettino said. “To him, these women were disposable.”
Schettino asked for consecutive maximum time. “He deserves nothing less than the maximum for his violent and brazen criminal conduct,” she said.
In handing down her tough sentence, Hoye said she found the evidence against Kruppenbacher overwhelming, the victims credible and Kruppenbacher’s own testimony not credible.
Hoye noted characterizations from others that Kruppenbacher led a double life, one where his family knew one man and the prostitutes of Schenectady knew another.
“The minute you thought someone was speaking out against what you were planning to do, you snapped and somebody else came out,” Hoye said. “You became a violent person who would stop at nothing to get what you wanted.”
Kruppenbacher was convicted in March of a host of counts, topped by kidnapping and rape charges. A Schenectady County Court jury found him guilty of taking prostitutes from Schenectady to Rotterdam where he attacked them.
The jury convicted him after hardly a day of deliberations.
Kruppenbacher was convicted on 11 of 20 counts after a two-week trial. He was acquitted on the nine others, including attempted murder.
For his convictions on two counts of second-degree kidnapping and one count of first-degree rape, Hoye sentenced him to three 25-year sentences to be served consecutively.
Kruppenbacher consistently denied the most serious accusations, admitting only to patronizing prostitutes but said it was not always for sex.
He was represented in court by attorney Todd Monahan, who said that an appeal is expected.
Monahan told the court that a maximum sentence would be easy, but the court should consider his other life, one that “far outweighs” what was seen in the courtroom.
He referred to letters written on Kruppenbacher’s behalf, which cited his generosity, integrity and kindness. He is a Vietnam veteran, father and has been with the same woman for 32 years. She was in the courtroom.
“Joseph Kruppenbacher is more than just these incidents,” Monahan said. Kruppenbacher himself declined to make a statement, only asking for time alone to speak with his family. His poor behavior at the jail has prevented visits there, officials said.
According to the prosecution Kruppenbacher threatened five prostitutes with knives. He threatened to rape them and to kill them. All were taken to Rotterdam and attacked in early 2008.
Three of the women came forward immediately after the incidents, in January, February and April 2008. Two women came forward after Kruppenbacher’s arrest was publicized. The one full acquittal was related to a woman who had come forward later.
For Amanatides’ attack, Kruppenbacher was convicted of first-degree rape.
It was after the attack that Amanatides said she got herself off drugs and away from prostitution. She has three young children, one boy and twin girls.
She said she feels safe now that Kruppenbacher is locked away. She now looks to her future, staying off drugs and being there for her children.
“Looking at them every day and seeing their faces keeps me off drugs,” she said.
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Categories: Schenectady County