Man sentenced to 50-100 years in Clairton robbery during which officer was shot
Police officer James Kuzak comments on the sentencing of Emilio Rivera in connection with several charges in the incident in which Kuzak was shot and paralyzed.
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A man accused of participating in a home invasion that resulted in a Clairton police officer being shot and paralyzed was sentenced this morning to 50 to 100 years in prion.
Emilio Rivera was found guilty by a jury Aug. 16 of four counts each of robbery, unlawful restraint, recklessly endangering another person and one count of burglary.
The jury, however, found him not guilty of shooting Officer James Kuzak.
Still, Allegheny County Judge Edward J. Borkowski sentenced Rivera to the lengthy term, he said, because "Mr. Rivera is a decidedly dangerous and incorrigible person."
Rivera spoke only briefly after consulting with defense attorney Paul Gettleman.
"I honestly feel like there will never be justice for this case, period, when all you have are victims," he said. "I became a victim myself. That's all."
Later, his mother, Mayra Rivera, said she believed her son was targeted because he's Latino.
"The sentence is very unfair," she said. "My son is innocent. It's because of Officer Kuzak. It's a racist issue. My son did not shoot Kuzak. It was proven by the jury."
Officer Kuzak, who was not permitted to give a victim impact statement, said after the sentencing that he was satisfied with what happened.
"I guess I find some comfort that the person who knows who shot me is going to spend the rest of his life in prison," he said. "It's over. We can move on."
First Published November 15, 2012 10:55 am