Sex abusers of children get lengthy prison terms
Three men and a woman who were convicted in Columbia County Court of predatory sexual assault of four children have been sentenced to a minimum of 50 years each in state prison, Columbia County District Attorney Paul Czajka said Thursday.
Goliath Van Alphen, 47, of Claverack, his former wife, Jeanine Van AlphenMoot, 32, of Hillsdale, Eugene Shackelton, 59, of Copake, and William Wendover III, 29, of Cairo, were convicted Aug. 10, and each was sentenced Tuesday by Judge Richard Koweek to 50 years to life behind bars.
They are likely to serve the remainder of their lives in prison, Czajka said.
The four were convicted of two felony counts each of predatory sexual assault and the felonies of criminal solicitation and sexual performance by a child.
The trial lasted twoand-a-half weeks, and the jury deliberated for a dayand-a-half, Czajka said.
The four were arrested in July 2015 after being indicted in a 58-count indictment alleging they participated in sexual offenses, including rape, involving the children, who all were under 13. The victims currently are ages 9 to 14, the prosecutor said.
In December 2013, a joint investigation by the state police Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Czajka’s office and Columbia County Child Protective Services “revealed that numerous victims suffered at the hands of the suspects,” police said at the time. The crimes occurred between June 2009 and February 2011, and four defendants had been under investigation since late 2012, the district attorney said.
From left: Eugene Shackleton, Goliath Van Alphen, Jeanine Van Alphen-Moot and William Wendover III