YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsReporters

Rapist Who Said Prison Could Kill Him Freed : Jail Life Tough--He's Down to 396 Pounds

December 17, 1985|United Press International

LEESBURG, N.J. — A 396-pound sex offender who once claimed he should not be sent to prison because it could kill him was freed on parole today after serving three years of a 15-year sentence.

Joseph (Jo-Jo) Giorgianni had no comment for reporters as he walked out of the medium-security Leesburg State Prison and was met by relatives.

Giorgianni, who lost nearly 100 pounds while in prison to reach a relatively svelte 396 pounds, stepped into a stretch limousine and drove away.

Giorgianni, 36, was convicted of carnal abuse and debauching the morals of a a 14-year-old Levittown, Pa., girl who was plyed with liquor and molested in the rear of his Trenton steak shop in 1978.

He was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 1982 but argued that he was sick and that prison--with no air conditioning and limited access to treatment--could kill him.

A judge released him after less than a week behind bars, sparking an outcry and a demand from the victim's mother that prosecutors not allow "that fat rapist off free."

Superior Judge Richard Barlow Jr. reversed himself 27 days later and ordered Giorgianni back to prison after prosecutors showed him a videotape of Giorgianni lighting up a cigar at a boxing match in a smoke-filled Atlantic City casino.

Giorgianni, who weighed up to 550 pounds at times after his arrest, was charged during his first year in jail with about a dozen disciplinary infractions, including food stowing.

While in prison, he did not eat in the dining room but received 80 pounds of food from outside the prison each month.

The department spent $1,000 to buy him an oversized bed and provided him with clothes from Frank's Big and Tall Shop, which reported Giorgianni wore pants with a 76-inch waist and shirts five times larger than extra large.

Los Angeles Times Articles