Victim Speaks Out Against Attacker at Sentencing

By Maggie Cassidy
Valley News Staff Writer

White River Junction — In a powerful victim’s impact statement read while his family wept and consoled each other in the courtroom, a 27-year-old Vermont man told his abuser that the man had “murdered (his) soul,” but that he would persevere through the alleged yearslong sexual trauma that he said started at age 12.

“As difficult as life is for me from day to day, I will not give you the satisfaction of dying,” the victim, Jeff Wyman, said at Thursday’s sentencing hearing for 45-year-old Brett Bartolotta. “I have good qualities, and I will continue to find and nurture those qualities.”

In 2013, Bartolotta, who was living in Cavendish, Vt., was one of two men charged with aggravated sexual assault and slave trafficking, felonies punishable by up to life in prison, in relation to the alleged abuse. The other man, Frank Meyer, of Connecticut, died by suicide days after the charges were filed.

Minutes after Wyman finished his statement in Windsor Superior Court, though — and after Bartolotta offered an apology that the judge deemed “not satisfactory” — Bartolotta walked out of the courtroom and left the courthouse through a side door, while Wyman’s brothers, overcome by emotion, shouted in the streets.  Continue reading “Victim Speaks Out Against Attacker at Sentencing”

Vermont Amber Alert Ends With Mother’s Arrest in Lyme

By Maggie Cassidy
Valley News Staff Writer

Lyme — A 49-year-old mother is awaiting extradition to face felony charges in Vermont, where authorities allege she abducted her biological son from his foster family near Bennington before transporting him to the Upper Valley, where she was apprehended Monday night.

An Amber Alert was issued around 8:30 p.m. for 12-year-old Zachary Lee after his foster family reported he had not arrived home from his school bus drop-off on Monday in Sunderland, Vt.

Hanover Police arrested the boy’s mother, Patricia Kane, at the Lyme Inn around 11:30 p.m. on Monday after following up on a tip from someone who reported seeing Kane, her teenage daughter and Zachary dining together at the Canoe Club in downtown Hanover earlier that evening. Continue reading “Vermont Amber Alert Ends With Mother’s Arrest in Lyme”

Perriello Gets 35 Years to Life; Sentence Is Harshest Possible For Man Who Killed Wife

By Maggie Cassidy
Valley News Staff Writer

Newport — James W. Perriello received the maximum sentence for the shooting death of his wife, teacher Natalie Perriello, following a heart-wrenching hearing on Wednesday where the oldest of the couple’s four children confronted her father for the first time since the murder, and Perriello apologized for what he had done.

More than 40 people crowded into Sullivan Superior Court where Natalie Perriello’s friends and family took turns giving statements about the impact her death has had on their lives, and none was more powerful than the one delivered by 14-year-old Jillian Perriello, who read an open letter to her father as he sat with his head hung low at the nearby defense table.

“Dear Dad, I still hear them, the bangs, the booms, the crashes, the shots,” Jillian said.

It was the first time since his arrest that James Perriello had seen any of his children, who were all at home in Grantham at the time of the April 2012 shooting.

“The words, the shouts, the crying, the footsteps,” Jillian continued. “The rain pounding down the window. The sirens.

“I still see them. … The two frantic boys across the hall. The petrified look on your face. … The flashing lights. … The Mickey Mouse comforter that still snuggles my body at night.” Continue reading “Perriello Gets 35 Years to Life; Sentence Is Harshest Possible For Man Who Killed Wife”