Schenectady County

Rape victim confronts abuser in Schenectady court

The teenage girl choked back tears as she read a single page statement to Brett Wood, the man who


The teenage girl choked back tears as she read a single page statement to Brett Wood, the man who raped her and her sister when they were young children.

Now, nearly a decade after the first rape, they suffer trust issues and have a fear of their attacker that never seems to diminish. Her younger sister has withdrawn into her own world and both feel as though their childhood was robbed from them, the girl said to Woods before he was sentenced Wednesday in Schenectady County Court.

“I’ve tried to find ways to forget, but I can’t,” she said. “Now all we can hope for is that he never gets out to do this to someone else.”

Wood, 43, of Consaul Road, Schenectady, was sentenced to serve 15 years in state prison after pleading guilty to two counts of first-degree rape — one count for each child he assaulted. He was also ordered to register as a sex offender upon his release, spend five years on probation and not have contact with four children named in the case for eight years after leaving prison.

The abuse came to light when one of the girls disclosed the rape to a friend during an online conversation. The friend subsequently placed an anonymous call to authorities, tipping them off about Wood’s actions in June 2009.

Wood was first accused of raping a child under the age of 11 on numerous occasions starting in the late summer or early fall of 2001. Upon further investigation, police found numerous instances of rape that occurred between 2001 and 2008.

In all, Wood was charged with three counts of third-degree rape, four counts of first-degree criminal sexual act, five counts of third-degree criminal sexual act, one count of second-degree attempted assault, three counts of endangering the welfare of a child, and one count of predatory sexual assault. He was facing up to life in prison on the charges.

About a month after his arrest, Wood sent a letter from the Schenectady County Jail to the mother of the children offering her items he valued at $40,000 if she agreed to drop the charges. The woman instead took the letter to the county district attorney’s office.

Authorities later used the letter as leverage to elicit a plea from Wood. Prosecutors indicated they would seek indictments on bribery and tampering charges if Wood decided to take the case to trial.

Prosecutor Jessica Lorusso argued for Wood to serve the severest sentence that could be imposed under the plea agreement. She indicated that the state guidelines for sentencing in such a case now mandates a minimum of five years’ post-release supervision.

“The abuse here, both sexual and physical, warrants it,” she said.

Acting Schenectady County Court Judge Richard Sise agreed. He was particularly bothered by the case and voiced disgust over the predilection Wood demonstrated for children younger than the age of 10.

“The young woman who spoke here a moment ago said you took her innocence away — you did,” he said. “You did prey upon them.”

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