CANTON An elderly Potsdam man who admitted sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy left the St. Lawrence County courthouse in handcuffs Tuesday after apologizing for hurting his victim and the boys family.
James A. Pleau, 71, of 16 Mechanic St., was sentenced to 120 days in the St. Lawrence County jail and 10 years probation. He also was ordered to pay $468.60 in restitution and $1,100 in fees and surcharges.
He pleaded guilty Aug. 17 to one count of first-degree attempted sexual abuse, a felony. He allegedly restrained his 13-year-old victim in March and then sexually abused him while the boy was at Pleaus village of Potsdam home.
Pleau told County Judge Jerome J. Richards he was remorseful.
I am so sorry this happened. I am so sorry I hurt people, he said. I apologize to this court for this action. I need to understand, perhaps not why it happened, but that it wont happen again. I never want to go through this again. I never want anyone to go through this again.
The defendants attorney, Kevin F. Nichols, Malone, said the incident was an isolated event and not a pattern for Pleau, who does not have a criminal record.
This was the only time this ever happened. It was one sad, bad thing that happened to this child, and I believe probation is the appropriate sanction, he said.
The victims father was visibly upset with the cases outcome.
Justice isnt served, he said outside the courtroom. I think he should spend a lot longer than 120 days in jail and 10 years probation. My son is hurting.