Rapist of three girls gets up to 180 years
Minutes before an Allegheny County judge sentenced him to 90 to 180 years in prison, Michael Lipinski sat at the defense table smirking.
He seemed amused as he sat listening to a now-14-year-old girl recount the horrors he visited on her on Nov. 13, 2005, when Mr. Lipinski broke into the girl's Brighton Heights home, kidnapped her, then sexually assaulted her.
The girl never lost her composure. Her voice remained steady as she told Judge Jeffrey A. Manning that she hoped that Mr. Lipinski would be raped in prison every day "as many times as he did everybody."
"He tore my family apart," she said. "Now, he's the one that's going to be scared. I hope he gets beat up a lot, and he suffers."
Mr. Lipinski, 41, of Penn Hills, said nothing during the hearing. His assistant public defender, Michelle Collins, said her client plans to appeal.
Mr. Lipinski was convicted in September for attacks on three girls, ages 3, 9 and 17 between 1998 to 2005, in which he was accused of entering their homes in the middle of the night.
In two of the instances, he kidnapped his victims. In the third, he raped the 17-year-old girl in her mother's bed while holding a butcher knife to her throat.
Mr. Lipinski was caught only after he was convicted of another sexual assault, and his DNA was collected and entered into the national database.
During the trial, Deputy District Attorney Laura Ditka told the jury that Mr. Lipinski was the "bogeyman."
"He took people at their most vulnerable point. He took children," she told the judge Thursday. "Everyone in this country has the right to safely go to sleep."
In a written statement to the court, the 14-year-old's mother described her daughter having to still sleep with her five years after the attack. The girl still wakes up with nightmares.
"No one should have to be afraid to go to bed at night," the woman wrote. "Please remember all the lifelong pain he has inflicted on these children, which will stay with them the rest of their lives. We have all lost so much because of Michael's actions and will never get it back. But most of all, we lost a sense of trust, which is so very important in life."
As he pronounced sentence, Judge Manning noted Mr. Lipinski's behavior both during the trial and during Thursday's hearing.
"I have never seen a defendant exhibit a greater lack of remorse. It seems as though you asked for a jury trial to laugh at, stare at and grin at your victims. To intimidate them," the judge said. "I find your conduct to be obnoxious, disgusting and vile."
Ms. Ditka said after the sentence that she believes that the victims and "society should rest at ease tonight."
"Now, finally, maybe," she said of the 14-year-old, "she'll be able to go to bed and think about what she wants for Christmas and her hopes and dreams for next year."
First Published December 10, 2010 12:00 am