Former Troop 31 scoutmaster Gregory Wagner has led his last oath about moral straightness. The confessed child molester was sentenced to 23 years and 4 months in prison Friday, at an emotional sentencing hearing that had previously been delayed several times.
"It's important not only that justice be done, but that it be seen to be done," said Judge Diane Northway, as parents of former troop members looked on.
Northway said Wagner deserved harsh treatment because he had abused a position of authority to abuse his victims Northway also credited David Grewal and his family for speaking articulately about the impact of Wagner's crimes. Grewal was the first of Wagner's victims to step forward -- two others also filed charges in this case -- and he helped police nab Wagner with a pretext call. Grewal said he was motivated by those who helped put an end to the Boston Archdiocese's coverup of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.
(Northway also complimented Grewal on his recent wedding, which, as one of his friends observed, means that is now a matter of California law that he married the right woman).
Kevin Richlin, a detective with the D.A.'s office who specializes in computer forensics, testified in uncomfortable detail about the password-protected child pornography on Wagner's computer. The files had been accessed as recently as April 9 of last year and deleted as late as Aug. 22, which district attorney Kim Connors used effectively to cast doubt on defense attorney James Blackman's argument that Wagner's behavior was a thing of the past.
Blackman, who also argued that the abuse "was mutual and voluntary" and may have had nothing to do with the victim's depression, got some deservedly cold stares from the families of troop members as he left the courtroom. I wish him luck in being able to either sleep at night or look at himself in the mirror.
By statute, Wagner will be eligible for parole halfway through the sentence.