Norwich man sentenced to 10 years in prison for 'inhumane, despicable' sexual assaults

A New London judge did not accept a tearfully uttered apology Wednesday from a 51-year-old man who had sexually assaulted a young girl he knew hundreds of times over a period of several years.

“I’m sorry” was not enough, Judge Susan B. Handy told Andre Oudkerk of Norwich, as she sentenced him to 10 years in prison, 20 years of strict probation and registry as a sexual offender.

“Your behavior was inhumane,” Handy said. “It was despicable, absolutely despicable.”

Instead of protecting the child, which is an adult’s responsibility, Oudkerk molested her for years and told her repeatedly that he would kill her if she reported the assaults, the judge said.

Prosecutor Theresa Anne Ferryman said the case stands apart from other sexual assaults “in terms of sheer horror.” The teenage victim came forward in 2012 and disclosed that Oudkerk had been molesting her since she was 11 years old, estimating the number of sexual assaults in the hundreds.

The victim did not attend the sentencing but appeared “incredibly put together” when she met with Ferryman and victim advocate Beth Ann Hess last year, according to Hess. She has moved on with her life and is attending college, Hess said.

Oudkerk, a tall, dark-haired man with facial hair and thick eyeglasses, stood before the judge in tan prison scrubs, his shoulders hunched and his hands clasped in front of him. His attorney, Kevin C. Barrs, said Oudkerk did not have a significant criminal record but that he suffers from mental illness so significant that he can barely hold a conversation. He also had a horrific childhood, illustrated by a story he told to the probation officer who conducted a presentencing interview, Barrs said.

“His dad wasn’t around much, but when he did come around, he and his brother had to arm themselves with sticks to fight him off,” Barrs said.

The Department of Adult Probation will monitor nearly every aspect of Oudkerk’s life when he is released, including where he lives and works and whom he associates with. He will be prohibited from having any contact with minors and from the victim.

“She wants nothing to do with you, sir,” the judge told Oudkerk. “Absolutely nothing. Ever again.”

k.florin@theday.com

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