Former Neurosurgery professor Tracy McIntosh was sentenced to 3 1/2 to seven years in prison yesterday for the 2002 sexual assault of his college roommate’s niece.
Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Pamela Pryor Dembe delivered McIntosh’s court-ordered new punishment, after his original sentence of 11 1/2 to 23 months of house arrest was vacated by the state Superior and Supreme courts.
Dembe admitted to struggling with the decision.
“Mr. McIntosh is not a monster; no one is,” she said. “I have wrestled with this decision.”
But Dembe was ultimately unswayed by McIntosh’s plea for a lenient sentence as a reward for having been a model citizen before the assault and having complied with all court provisions since 2002. McIntosh, 54, pleaded no-contest to the assault in December 2004.
McIntosh’s wife appeared visibly shaken as her husband was led out of the courtroom yesterday.
Defense attorney Joel Trigiani said he plans to appeal the sentence.
“When we have cases like this that are close calls, that’s what appellate courts are for,” he said.
Sentencing proceedings were delayed yesterday after Trigiani asked to withdraw McIntosh’s no-contest plea, a request Dembe denied.
“It’s like any major decision in life. Once you’ve made it, there are second thoughts,” Dembe said. “But after two go-arounds it’s too late to withdraw the plea.”
The victim, who was a 23-year-old woman about to enter Penn’s School of Veterinary Medicine at the time of the assault, testified at the sentencing.
Asked to describe the night by Assistant District Attorney Richard DeSipio, she said McIntosh “had taken me to several bars” before returning to his office at Penn in Hayden Hall.
“I absolutely remember him putting his penis inside of me” after she had vomited from the alcohol, the victim said. She added that she then took a cab home, showered and went to sleep.
“My first reaction [when I woke up] was, ‘I was just raped,’” she said, clearly upset. “No prestige from his papers or brain surgeries erases it.”
The victim’s uncle – McIntosh’s college roommate – also spoke yesterday and testified that, after the assault, he talked to mutual friends who said McIntosh “was very aggressive with women.”
“This was not a mistake,” the victim said of the rape. “This was a plotted, calculated, manipulated act.”
The defense called a number of witnesses to testify on McIntosh’s behalf.
McIntosh “has learned so profoundly,” said his wife’s best friend, Diane Anderson. “I believe that this continuing [legal] process has prevented him from doing the kinds of atonement” that he needs and wants to do.
Despite the defense’s attempt to discuss McIntosh’s character and rehabilitation efforts, the victim said she only wanted to address the facts of the case.
“I am here to talk with Her Honor about what happened that night and get out of here,” she said in an exchange with Trigiani about whether people can change.
The victim described McIntosh as “incredibly sick” and said she would not have endured the long legal ordeal had the rape not happened.
McIntosh was originally sentenced to house arrest and fines and restitution to the victim in March 2005. Following large public outcry, the prosecution appealed the decision on the grounds that it was too lenient. Appeals courts concurred and sent the case back to the lower court.
State sentencing guidelines call for three-to-six years in prison for McIntosh’s offense.
The defense alleges that the original sentence, handed down by Common Pleas Judge Rayford Means – who recused himself from the case last September – was the result of a backroom deal between Means and attorneys on both sides.
That deal, the defense claims, stated that McIntosh would not go to prison in exchange for his no-contest plea.
Means has never publicly stated the reasoning behind his original sentence.
The victim reached confidential settlements in civil suits against both McIntosh and Penn in January 2007.
Staff writer Alyssa Schwenk contributed reporting to this article.Comments powered by Disqus
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