WILKES-BARRE – In a case prosecutors said involved some of the most disturbing details they've seen, a Plymouth couple were convicted Friday of 13 charges of sexual assault and neglect of a young boy.
A jury found Carol Hann, 45, and her husband, Robert Caravella, 53, of Gould Street, guilty of all charges after deliberating for just more than two hours.
(The boy) was relieved to have it all over with, said Assistant District Attorney Jenny Roberts, who prosecuted the case. He is glad to put it all behind him.
Hann will undergo an evaluation by the state Sexual Offenders Assessment Board to determine if she is a sexually violent predator before she is sentenced on March 4. Roberts said she is seeking a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison on a charge of rape of a child for Hann.
Caravella is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 14 on the newest conviction and an April conviction in which he was found guilty of 14 charges relating to sexually assaulting two girls – then ages 3 and 7.
Caravella said nothing as he left the Luzerne County Courthouse on Friday, while Hann only commented that she might be dying from a sickness she declined to detail to news reporters.
The couple were represented by attorney Andrew Katsock, who left the courthouse after the verdict was handed down.
Roberts said the case was among the most disturbing she and county detectives have prosecuted in their many collective years on the job.
She added jurors must have found the victim and other witnesses she presented credible and the testimony of Hann and Caravella not so credible.
Nine out of 10 (victims) don't report (what is happening to them) because they are fearful … or don't know it's wrong, Roberts said.
The boy, now 14, testified Wednesday the sexual abuse began when he was 8 years old and had sexual intercourse with Hann.
The boy testified he didn't know the contact was wrong until he was removed from Hann and Caravella's home in August 2010 and placed with a family member.
The boy said he didn't have a bedtime at the Gould Street home, played video games or was on the computer during the day and brushed his teeth and took a shower only about once a month.
He was home-schooled, he testified, but Caravella was the one who would complete and submit his work. Urinating on the floor also was normal, the boy testified, adding there were always at least 10 cats that lived in and out of the home.
The boy said he would kill some of the cats if Hann forced him to have intercourse when he didn't want to.
The boy said Caravella allowed him to watch pornography and that Caravella would build him up to the day he would have intercourse with Hann.
Caravella would explain to the boy how to have intercourse with Hann or instruct him on things to practice. Hann testified she never had intercourse with the boy, and never touched him inappropriately, while Caravella testified he never showed the boy pornography or watched the boy have sex with Hann.
In his closing argument, Katsock said his clients are not guilty of the crimes they are charged with and a jury can't find them guilty because prosecutors didn't prove each crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
Katsock said Hann and Caravella have always proclaimed their innocence and no photos, videos or other evidence proved the allegations against them.
The defense attorney said the boy himself lied several times about his school grades and what happened to Hann's cats and never reported any inappropriate behavior to several psychologists he had seen.
If he testified again, he'd probably tell another story, Katsock said.