Sentence in sex abuse of children case: *** Prison Forever!!! ***
Michael Louis McIntosh stood next to his attorney with his head down as Judge Howard Maltz told him Friday morning that he would spend the rest of his life in prison.
“The testimony that came out during trial revealed that your conduct was nothing short of despicable,” Maltz told him. “By your actions, you’ve sentenced the victims in this case to a life sentence of emotional turmoil that can’t be undone.
“Your conduct has demonstrated that you do not deserve to walk this earth as a free man. With my sentence today, I’m going to assure that that’s the case.”
In all, McIntosh, 32, of St. Augustine, received seven life sentences, three of which were to be served consecutively. He was found guilty Thursday of eight felony counts of sexual misconduct with children.
After the judge pronounced the sentences, McIntosh’s parents, siblings and other family members erupted into tears. The victims and their families also were crying, with one of the victims shaking as a relative consoled him.
The prosecution and the defense each brought forth witnesses to speak before the sentencing.
The two victims, who had testified Wednesday that McIntosh performed sexual acts on them when they were as young as 6 years old, spoke to the judge again Friday, each pausing several times throughout their statements, their voices warbling with emotion.
One victim told the judge that McIntosh had made death threats to warn against telling of the abuse. That victim said the conviction was a relief, adding that, “Now I can rest in peace. I feel free now.”
The St. Augustine Record does not publish the names of victims of sex crimes.
One victim’s grandmother also told the judge that she was disheartened that her grandchild’s religious faith had been shaken by the actions of the defendant, whom she said “will have to answer to God for what he did.”
When it came time for the defense witnesses to speak, Maltz listened as McIntosh’s closest family members — his father, brother, two sisters and a nephew — spoke lovingly of him, saying that the Michael McIntosh they knew was incapable of those crimes.
McIntosh’s father, Donald McIntosh, told the judge that his son, as well as his family, had been “truly hurt by the outcome of this trial.”
“We know in our hearts that our son is not the man portrayed in our judicial system,” Donald McIntosh said. “We can hug our son, and feel no shame.”
Michael McIntosh fought back tears for most of the proceeding, eventually breaking down during testimony by his elder brother, James McIntosh, who was also crying and concluded by saying, “I am still proud of my baby brother and always will be.”
When defense attorney Jason Porter called McIntosh to speak to the judge, McIntosh shuffled slowly, head down, as he made his way to the podium. The sobbing that had been near constant throughout the proceeding — from both the defendant’s and the victims’ sides of the courtroom — stopped as all waited to hear what he would say.
But McIntosh, who had been struggling to contain tears through much of the testimony, was too distraught to speak, so he had his attorney read his statement. McIntosh recalled growing up in a close, loving family, “where help was just down the hallway,” and thanked them for standing behind him.
“(My family) taught me that no one was disposable, that happens to one member of the family affects the rest,” he wrote. “I can’t possibly list all the ways you all have supported me, but my gratitude is infinite. All your letters and cards, phone calls and visits, just to name a few, it helped to make these times more bearable.”
Of eight guilty verdicts, he was given seven life sentences, three of which will be served consecutively. He was also sentenced to 15 years on one of the convictions. McIntosh has 30 days to appeal the judgments and sentences.