Calling him a "truly evil person," a judge Thursday sentenced molester Douglas Clark Greene to 22 years in state prison.
Greene, 36, pleaded no contest to charges that he molested nine girls, ages 7 to 13, including his own daughter. During the emotional sentencing hearing in Newhall Municipal Court, Greene was denounced as a man who wrecked his Saugus neighborhood.
"I'm very glad you got caught because I was scared to say anything," said a sobbing 13-year-old girl who was one of the victims. "We all know you are never going to go to heaven."
Several other girls and their parents wept as they addressed Greene in court. They said that two of his victims had to be hospitalized for emotional trauma. Parents talked about the problems they now had in establishing trusting relationships with their children.
When they were done speaking, Judge Alan Rosenfield gave an angry 15-minute address to the court, saying that the crimes were particularly heinous because Greene convinced friends and family he was a gentle person who could be trusted with their children. He also pointed out that Greene had a criminal record that included a church burglary and a bank robbery during which explosives were used.
"Very few people who come into a courtroom are truly evil," Rosenfield said. "You sir, are a truly evil person."
"I have always known there are people in the world like you," he added. "But I guess I never thought I would get someone like you in my courtroom."
The judge said he will recommend Greene serve his sentence at Pelican Bay State Prison, which is normally reserved for inmates who have caused trouble at other institutions.
Normally, prisoners can be released after serving half of their sentence, but because of state law regarding child sex offenses, the judge explained in court, Greene will only be entitled to a reduction of about 15%.
Greene, who ran a carpet cleaning service, refused to look at his family and neighbors as he entered the courtroom. He buried his head in his hands as they came forward to a court podium, individually and in groups to support each other.
"I don't have much to say other than stop blaming others for what you did," his 14-year-old daughter told him in a steady, angry voice. "You took away my childhood and my friends' childhood."
When it was over, Greene told the judge he had nothing to say.
The molestations occurred mostly in Greene's home, according to police reports, between December, 1992, and March, 1995, when he was arrested. Deputy Public Defender John Ponist said after the court proceedings Thursday that police reports also alluded to "side trips" Greene took with the victims, but apparently, he said, they were to amusement parks and other locations "to make him look like a nice guy."
Such actions were apparently what infuriated parents who said they had trusted Greene with their children.
"As a result of your actions, I have spent the last few years as a father trying to have a relationship with my daughter," said one man, who did not give his name, in court testimony. "I have had a very difficult time."
Ponist said his client disputes some of the nine charges he was convicted of, but accepted the plea-bargain because he was originally charged with 20 sexual assault counts that could have resulted in a 58-year prison sentence.
In addition, prosecutors had announced during an earlier court hearing they were about to file 20 additional charges.
Greene pleaded no contest to seven counts of performing a lewd act on a child under 14 years of age, one count of continuous sexual abuse on a child under 14 and one count of oral copulation on a child under 14.
Judge Rosenfield told Greene he was reluctant to approve the plea-bargain at first, but wanted to keep the girls from having to testify.
"I almost wish you had turned down the deal so you could have gone to trial and gotten about a billion years in prison," Rosenfield said.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Jan Maurizi said after the court proceedings that she believes other girls were victimized by Greene, but that they have either not come forward or have moved out of the area. She said the crimes have affected all families in the neighborhood, even those whose children weren't victimized.
"They're realizing 'It could have been my child or grandchild,' " she said.
The hearing ended with Rosenfield saying to Greene, "I'm just worried about you getting out.
"Most people who leave my courtroom I wish good luck to," the judge added. "In this case, I don't think I can do that."