50 Years to Life in Prison

By WBNG News

July 22, 2010 Updated Jan 8, 2010 at 7:15 PM EDT

A Binghamton man once confined and twice convicted of sex crimes will spend the next 50 years in prison.

58 year old Joseph Hoppe was sentenced in Broome County court.

Two of Hoppe's victims told Broome County Court that he is a dangerous man.

And they would fear for their lives if he was released.

The prosecutor said if Hoppe isn't in prison, he will strike again.

Broome County Judge Martin Smith called Joseph Hoppe both dangerous and a sociopath.

Hoppe was convicted in 2009 of several charges, including sexual assault, rape, possession of a weapon and grand larceny.

He spoke to Judge Smith claiming witnesses lied during the trial.

Smith then sentenced him to serve consecutive 25 year to life sentences

Assistant District Attorney Benjamin Bergman says Hoppe got the sentence he deserved.

"We based that on his conduct in this case and his history, most notably his conduct back in I believe 1995 and back in 1979," says Broome County Assistant District Attorney Benjamin Bergman.

Hoppe was convicted back in 1995 of sexual assault.

After serving his prison sentence, then Governor George Pataki ordered sex offenders considered dangerous to be confined in psychiatric centers.

"I believe at that point, they were trying to do a civil confinement and that went through the legal system and my understanding, anyways, given his circumstances, he was not a person that was eligible to be confined, civilly confined," Bergman says.

A New York appeals court ruled the state could not hold sex offenders without an examination and court hearing.

Hoppe was eventually released.

Friday, he tried to get his most recent conviction thrown out, but was denied.

Hoppe's attorney will appeal the sentence.

He'll be eligible for parole in 2060, when he would be 108 years old.

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