November 29, 2006
Pleads Guilty in Sex Assaults
He ran up behind the women, naked except for a mask, tackled them and sexually assaulted them. With jury selection slated to begin, during a final court conference last week John J. Giraldo made a deal, pleading guilty to a slew of felony charges in exchange for a sentence of 20 years. Convicted by a jury, he could have gotten as many as 50 years. According to Bob Clifford, spokesman for Suffolk County District Attorney Tom Spota, the D.A. sought a 23-year sentence, but victims were satisfied with the plea, which eliminated the need for them to detail the attacks at trial.
An arrest by East Hampton Village Police during the summer of 2005 brought Giraldo's four-year spree to an end. An undocumented immigrant from Colombia, Giraldo's first offense was reported to police in 2001. Over the ensuing years, dozens of victims in East Hampton, and as far away as Quogue filed reports of being accosted by a man wearing nothing more than a mask. He targeted female pedestrians near local beaches. Naked except for a mask, Giraldo would spring out and masturbate in front of the horrified women.
As time went by the assaults became more bold, and violent. In 2005 he attacked three women, knocking them down and assaulting them sexually. An attack on Wyborg Beach near the tony Maidstone Club on June 28, 2005 garnered no small measure of media attention. The victim, a 61-year-old local woman, was walking along the beach in the fog when he struck. A young worker at the nearby Maidstone Club interceded and Giraldo was chased off.
An extensive search of the area, even using a K-9 unit proved fruitless. But police suspected Giraldo of the earlier cases and brought him in for questioning. Admissions he made were enough to lodge charges, cops said at the time. From there police in other jurisdictions collared him for similar crimes, including two more violent assaults in Southampton Town.
Because Giraldo is in the country illegally, once he has served the sentence, he will be turned over to federal agents for deportation.