Retired Army General Pleads Guilty To Sexually Abusing Daughter
Five years ago, Jennifer Elmore, now 49, reported that her estranged father repeatedly molested and raped her as a child
Retired Army Maj. Gen. James Grazioplene has admitted to sexually abusing his daughter when she was a child after years of denying the claims.
On Wednesday, Grazioplene, 70, pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual battery in a courtroom in Prince William County, Virginia, in a deal that suspends his sentence, according to CNN. The outlet reported the disgraced military man has been in jail for 18 months and will likely serve 20 years probation.
His daughter Jennifer Elmore, now 49, reported to Army officials five years ago that Grazioplene had repeatedly sexually abused her growing up, reports The Washington Post. A case was brought against her estranged father in 2017.
Responding to the plea deal, an attorney for Elmore told CNN that it’s “a reflection of the fact that Jennifer cares more about the truth than the punishment.”
Elmore told the Post in 2018 that her earliest memory of abuse goes back to when she was 3 years old. She said the molestation and rape continued into her teen years, including “night visits” in her childhood bedroom in the 1980s. At the time, Grazioplene’s lawyers had denied the claims, dismissing the accusations as “false and incorrect.”
“Sometimes, it’s just easier to shut your mouth,” Elmore said in 2018 about her decision to come forward. “But if I stay silent and the next person opts for that, and the next person opts for that, and the next person opts for that, where are we?”
CNN reported that Grazioplene and Elmore both attended the socially-distanced court proceeding earlier this week, and Elmore read a victim impact statement.
“At 3, he led me to the dark, dirty basement of my grandmother’s house and put me on the washing machine and pleasured himself while molesting me,” she recalled in her statement. “At 8, he bought me a piano and insisted on taking me to piano lessons, all so he could park and take whatever sick pleasures that he so desired.”
“The same horrors [occurred] as he regularly insisted on bathing me,” added Elmore. “It took me until college to be able to use a bar of soap.”
“He stripped me of my dignity, my innocence, my value, my childhood and my voice — all of the things that a father is supposed to protect at the expense of his own life,” she reportedly said. “I will spend a lifetime putting back the shattered pieces you left behind.”
If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.