WILKES-BARRE — Like his wife before him, Robert Caravella is headed to a place where he won’t be near any children.
The Plymouth man described as a “monster” for his role in a child abuse case that shocked Luzerne County was ordered on Monday to spend the next 35 1/2 to 71 years in state prison.
For the 54-year-old Caravella, that could well be a life sentence, although Luzerne County Judge Tina Polachek Gartley did allow him credit for about two years of time already served.
“The victims, they really are relieved that the case is resolved,”Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Roberts told reporters after Caravella was sentenced.
Caravella will have 10 days to file any post-sentencing motions.
County detectives arrested Caravella and his wife, Carol Hann, in June 2011 after investigating a complaint by county Children and Youth Services about conditions at their home on Gould Street.
A jury in December convicted Hann of raping a teenage boy. Caravella was convicted of coaching the boy in performing lewd acts and of sexually assaulting two girls.
The boy testified at trial that Caravella introduced him to pornography when he was 8, and Hann soon after began forcing him to perform sex acts on her. If he did not perform well, the boy testified, Caravella would “coach” him.
Officials removed the boy from the home, where he said he was home-schooled, played video games or was on the computer during the day. He also described how he brushed his teeth and took a shower only about once a month — in a house where investigators said the floors were covered in garbage and a strong odor of urine hung in the air. The youth said it was normal to urinate on the floor, and that he often killed cats in the house when he was forced to have sex with Hann.
Hann, 45, was sentenced in March to serve 20 years, nine months to 41 years, three months in prison.
Caravella’s sentencing also covered another conviction. In April 2012, he was convicted of four counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, three counts of aggravated indecent assault of a child, three counts of contact with a minor, sexual offenses, and two counts each of corruption of minors and endangering the welfare of children in connection with the sexual abuse of two young girls, who were 3 and 7 when the molestation began in 2002.
Police said Caravella separately assaulted the two girls in Nanticoke and Plymouth, and that he would make them watch pornographic videos or look at adult magazines.
Both Caravella and Hann denied the accusations, but failed to convince jurors of their innocence. Both are now classified as sexually violent predators.
Roberts and Gartley had harsh words for Caravella before he was sent away Monday.
“This guy, as the judge said, was a real monster,” Roberts told reporters. “He pretty much subjected the victims to every type of abuse you could imagine.”