New York gymnastics coach sentenced for sex abuse during emotional day in court

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Thursday, May 17, 2018
New York gymnastics coach sentenced for sex abuse during emotional day in court
Sandra Bookman reports on the sentencing of a gymnastics coach for sexually abusing a young girl.

PORT CHESTER, New York (WABC) -- It was an emotional scene inside a Rockland County courtroom after a gymnastics coach was sentenced to four years in state prison for sexually abusing a young girl.

Joseph Lewin, 68, of Port Chester, was arrested in May 2018 for allegedly abusing at least seven children between 2007 and 2014 at gyms he once owned.

He was sentenced Monday after accepting a plea deal in June that convicts him on just one count of sex abuse.

His guilty plea covered an eight-count grand jury indictment accusing him of illegal sexual contact with at least seven girls under the age of 13 who were students at his gyms.

During his sentencing on Monday, Lewin attempted to apologize after three of his victims gave emotional impact statements in court.

Joseph Lewin, a Port Chester resident, was sentenced to 4 years in prison

"I'm extremely sorry," he told the court. "I feel -- please forgive me. And I hope to do what I necessarily have to do to make it up in my soul and two these girls."

However, the judge wasn't buying it. He asked Lewin what exactly he was sorry for and asked him to state for the record what he did.

"Sexually abused them," Lewin said to the courtroom.

"You certainly did, over and over," the judge said. "They're right here, tell them you're sorry, not me."

Lewin then turned to his victims to apologize and was told not to look at them.

Minutes later he was handcuffed and taken away.

The three women he molested refused to remain silent. They stood outside court, hugged each other and vowed to get on with their lives.

"When he called me out in court that was hard, but I think he's finally starting to understand what he did and finally starting to take responsibility," Nicole Chiapperino said.

Victim Eve Oberkircher said she hopes they can all now find the closure they need.

Lewin will be placed on the state sex abuse registry.


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