A Lewes man who pleaded guilty to raping a 14-year-old girl last summer has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Frederick Massey Jr., 55, a former custodian at Shields Elementary School, was sentenced after Delaware Superior Court Judge E. Scott Bradley rejected his request for the minimum two-year sentence.
Massey was arrested in June after police discovered he had been in a sexual relationship with the victim.
Bradley said to Massey, “You were a 54-year-old man. You pursued a 14-year old girl to satisfy your sexual desire. That’s not a mistake. That’s a cold, calculated act.”
Appearing before Bradley Feb. 21, Massey’s snow-white hair matched his white Department of Correction jumpsuit. Massey said he was sorry for what he had done and apologized to the family of the victim and his own family. He said he took full responsibility for his actions.
“This is not who I am,” Massey said. “I am truly, truly sorry.”
Massey’s attorney, Melissa Lofland, said he has shown remorse for what he has done. She said Massey made an error in judgment and that his crime was out of character. Massey has received 10 letters of recommendation as to his character, including from Massey’s wife and daughter, Lofland said, although those letters were not read in court. While Massey did have a previous conviction on sexual assault charges in 1978, she said he was not deemed a high risk of recidivism when evaluated by the state.
Delaware State Police began investigating Massey after the victim told Division of Family Services officials about her relationship with Massey. John Donahue, representing the Delaware Attorney General’s Office, said Massey lured the victim into the relationship with promises she could help train a puppy. The two began communicating through text messages, and, Donahue said, Massey began asking the victim for her sexual thoughts.
According to Delaware State Police, Massey kissed the girl in February 2013 and then a month later had intercourse with her in a car parked near Redden Forest.
“He lured her to a secluded area under the guise of training a puppy, and then he raped her,” Donahue said.
Massey has expressed remorse for his crimes, but during presentencing, Donahue said Massey had attempted to shift blame toward the victim, saying she pursued him. Donahue said Massey should get the maximum allowed sentence, 25 years in jail.
The victim spoke on her own behalf to a packed courtroom, asking Bradley to impose the maximum sentence.
“What has happened has happened. I do not forgive him at this time,” she said.
The girl said she feared for her safety if Massey were to get out of prison.
Her mother also spoke in support of the maximum sentence. She said she felt like she let her daughter down because she was not there to protect her. She said the incident has caused emotional strain for the family; her daughter was a happy-go-lucky kid before the incident, but afterward became sullen and withdrawn. She said Massey threatened her daughter if she revealed what had happened.
“My little girl, she was only 14. She had to grow up too soon. He stole her childhood from her,” the mother said. She said Massey was a sick man, whom she does not forgive.
In addition to jail time, Bradley also required Massey to undergo HIV and DNA testing and ordered no contact with the victim or anyone under the age of 18 when he gets out of prison, even family members.