HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut man was sentenced Monday to 72 years in prison on kidnapping charges in connection with the 1984 home invasion attacks on four women who say they were sexually assaulted — crimes that were solved in 2020 with the help of a genealogy database.
Michael Sharpe, 71, a former leader of a charter school organization, apologized to the women during the hearing in Hartford Superior Court, after saying he has memory problems and had no recollection of the crimes, The Hartford Courant reported.
“I don’t know what happened. I don’t know. But I’m so sorry. So, so, so, so sorry,” he said. “You deserve so much better. No one should ever come into your home and violate you. If I was this person, if I was this monster, I hope he is dead inside that two months of my life.”
Three of the women were in the courtroom and cried during his comments, while the fourth took part via videoconference. All four testified about being attacked in their bedrooms in the middle of the night and how they suffered lifelong trauma.
Relatives of Sharpe also testified and asked Judge Frank D’Addabbo for leniency.
A jury convicted Sharpe of kidnapping charges in November. He could not be charged with sexual assault because there was a five-year statute of limitations at the time. Kidnapping charges have no such time limit.
Sharpe, of Marlborough, was once the chief executive officer of a group that ran the Jumoke Academy, a tuition-free charter school in Hartford.
The attacker’s DNA was found in the homes, but police were not able to identify a suspect and the case went cold.
Police said they were led to Sharpe in 2020 because his relatives had given DNA samples to the GEDmatch website. DNA samples taken from trash outside Sharpe’s home, and later from his cheeks, matched the DNA found at the crime scenes, officials said.