Rapist resentenced in Rockland court 10 years later

Anthony Blackman returned to criminal court in Rockland this afternoon.

The last time Blackman appeared before Justice William A. Kelly was Nov. 26, 2001, when Kelly sentenced him to 25 years in prison for raping and sodomizing a 75-year-old woman. The prosecution wanted 50 years.

Blackman was never given post release supervision as part of the original sentence.

Many others convicted of crimes also were not given post release supervision and have since been resentenced over the years. Back then there was a new law and judges, prosecutors and defense lawyers were used to the concept of people being released from prison on parole. The post supervised release was similar to parole.

Back in 2001, Blackman turned down a 15-year sentence after pleading guilty that was offered by then District Attorney Michael Bongiorno.

Blackman originally pleaded guilty to first-degree rape following negotiations between Public Defender James Filenbaum and prosecutors, Kelly accepted the plea. Prosecutors wanted to avoid having the woman relive being raped by testifying.

Blackman backed out of the deal and went to trial. The jury deliberated for less than four hours before convicting Blackman of first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy and first-degree burglary.

Today in court, Kelly went over the crime and sentenced Blackman to the same 25 years on both charges, as well as 15 years concurrent for burglary. Kelly added five years supervised release.

Blackman told Kelly, “If I knew then what I know now, I would have took the plea 10 years ago, My life has been totally destroyed.”

Kelly responded that he recalled Blackman was adamant about going to trial and turned down the plea offer of less years.

When Blackman was tried in 2001, he had a 20-month-old daughter. When he appeared before Kelly today — dressed in green prison garb and shackled at the waist – the same girl sat in the courtroom. She was there with Blackman’s brother and other relatives.

Blackman blew her a kiss. She smiled.

Steve Lieberman

Steve Lieberman joined The Journal News as an editor in February 1984 and became a reporter during the spring of 1986. He has covered police, courts and legal issues for more than a decade, after reporting on county, town, village and state governments and general issues. He received more than a dozen state awards for writing and reporting. Born and raised in The Bronx, he has lived in Rockland since 1988.