Judge Denies Early Release for Nun Convicted in Sex Abuse Case

By Marie Rohde
Journal Sentinel

December 13, 2008

A judge Friday rejected an 80-year-old nun's request for early release from the jail term she's serving for having sex with two young boys while they were students at her school more than 40 years ago.

Norma Giannini pleaded no contest to indecent behavior with a child and began serving a one-year sentence in the Community Correctional Center on Aug. 23. Milwaukee Circuit Judge M. Joseph Donald had sentenced her to five years in prison for each count but stayed the sentence and ordered her to serve the year in the county facility. Today, Donald turned down Giannini's request to be freed early.

Nikola Kostich, Giannini's lawyer, said the elderly woman had been taken to emergency rooms once a month, and was admitted last time for five days because of congestive heart failure. He said she has lost 30 to 35 pounds because of the food at the facility and that he was "trying to save her life." He said the effort to get Giannini out of jail early was prompted by letters from her doctors.

Giannini did not attend Friday's hearing.

Assistant District Attorney Paul Tiffin opposed the request, saying that Giannini had refused placement at the House of Correction medical facility in Franklin, adding that she was receiving the necessary medical care.


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