PLATTSBURGH — An Altona man will serve 15 years to life for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl.
John W. Peryea, 44, appeared in Clinton County Integrated Domestic Violence Court before Judge Timothy J. Lawliss on March 3, according to a statement released this week by the Clinton County District Attorney’s Office.
Peryea was arrested July 12, 2012, and charged with predatory sexual assault against a child, a violent felony; first-degree criminal sex act, a felony; and endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor.
He was arraigned in Altona Town Court by Justice Eli Lambert and sent to Clinton County Jail without bail.
Peryea was indicted by a Clinton County grand jury on Jan. 23 on the charge of predatory sexual assault against a child and then arraigned. He pleaded guilty on Jan. 27.
‘VICTIM WAS BRAVER’
Assistant District Attorneys Domenica Padula and Jamie Douthat were the two prosecutors assigned to the case.
“The defendant certainly deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison for what he put this child through,” Padula said in the news release.
Yet she expressed her frustration at the difficulty of identifying sexual predators.
“It’s extremely frustrating to know that sexual offenders are out there preying on children that we can’t help because these children are suffering in silence.”
Douthat agreed, explaining that sex offenders are often skilled at manipulating their victims to keep quiet about the assaults.
“Fortunately, the victim in this case was braver than the defendant thought she was, because she refused to keep his secret, which ultimately led to his arrest and conviction,” she said in the statement.
“Only when a child finds the courage to tell someone what is happening can we do anything to stop it,” Padula said.
In addition to his prison sentence, Peryea was ordered to pay a fine, submit to a DNA sample and register as a sex offender. Lawliss also issued a stay-away order of protection for the victim.
Peryea was represented by Joseph Mucia.
In December 2010, Peryea was charged with two counts of driving while intoxicated; State Police said then that he was driving recklessly, swerving across Rand Hill Road in Plattsburgh.
Because he had a previous DWI conviction, those charges were both felonies.