A former New York elementary school principal told a federal judge in Omaha today that he made four 2,600-mile, round-trip flights to have secret sexual encounters with an underage girl from Washington County, Neb.It doesn't appear that the plea bargain includes his having to admit that he actually did rape the underage girl from Blair, Nebraska that was his victim. It was previously reported that he had confessed to having done so on several occasions.
John Monetti, 38, told U.S. District Judge Joseph Bataillon that he was guilty of two counts of travel with intent to engage in a sexual act with a juvenile. Three additional federal charges were dismissed under the plea bargain.
The judge told the former Long Island educator that he should expect to serve 144 months (12 years) in federal prison. 'Do you agree to that sentence?' Bataillon asked.
'Yes, I do,' Monetti responded.
Monetti also told the judge that he understood he had no chance for parole under federal sentencing laws and that his guilty pleas would make it nearly impossible to successfully appeal his sentence.
The judge accepted Monetti's guilty pleas, took the agreement under advisement and scheduled sentencing for Nov. 9.
Twelve years in the federal prisons is better than what might have happened to him in Nebraska's hit or miss state courts. Another consolation is that the poor victim never had to testify in open court. If you think his pending sentence will be too lenient, you can always write to Judge Bataillon. I think it is the best we could hope for, given the unpredictable state of Nebraska's courts.
For more background on Mr. Monetti's path to prison, see previous Plains Feeder coverage here.
More news coverage of Monetti's plea:Washington County Pilot Tribune & Enterprise; Omaha TV stations KETV , WOWT, and KMTV; Newsday from New York.
Update: Click for the latest post on John Monetti.