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Michael Sharpe, former school leader, sentenced to 72 years in kidnapping case

Michael Sharpe, 71, was sentenced to 72 years in prison. He was convicted of kidnapping four women.

HARTFORD, Conn. — A Marlborough man convicted of kidnapping cases dating back to 1984 was effectively sentenced to life in prison on Monday in Hartford Superior Court.

Michael Sharpe, 72, was sentenced to 72 years in prison. He was convicted of kidnapping four women. Related sexual assault charges were dropped due to the statute of limitations in those cases running out.

The women, who call themselves survivors, not victims, spoke with great emotion in court about how they’ve been haunted by the traumatic memory of his crimes nearly four decades ago and how their mental health has suffered. A judge ordered cameras not to record their statements.

In court, testimony outlined how Sharpe terrorized four women, breaking into their homes, creeping up to their bedsides, brandishing a firearm, and raping them in the middle of the night.

“There is no way a state’s attorney can ever put into words the impact a crime like this has. Not only on the victim but cascading down through relationships that the victims have for the rest of their lives," said John Fahey, Supervisory Assistant State's Attorney.

The judge called him a predator.

“You fit that definition. A person who ruthlessly exploits others,” said Judge Frank D’Addabbo.

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Sharpe is the former head of a Connecticut Charter School organization. He wasn’t identified as a suspect until 2003 and wasn’t arrested until 2020 when new DNA technology was used to analyze swabs from his garbage that linked him to the rapes.

At one point on Monday, Sharpe turned toward his victims and delivered a message.

“If I was and I was because the jury said so. This person this monster. I hope he’s dead inside,” said Sharpe.

“I don’t know what happened. I don’t know but I’m so sorry. So, so, so sorry. You deserve much better and no one should ever come into your home and violate you. No one should ever do that,” said Sharpe.

Sharpe’s own family members spoke as well to support him. They told the court they know him as a kind, caring man and not a monster.

Sharpe’s sentencing follows his five-day trial in October where 100 pieces of evidence were presented, and 22 witnesses testified. It took a jury just a half hour of deliberating to find him guilty.

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