Hessler blames pill addiction for ‘sex dungeon’ crimes at Vernon office

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Hessler blames pill addiction for ‘sex dungeon’ crimes at Vernon office

Via www.journalinquirer.com

Simon A. Hessler, the former Ellington ambulance official and Manchester hotel owner who is facing 30-year state and federal prison sentences for sex crimes targeting children in what state police described as a sex trafficking scheme that involved a so-called “sex dungeon” in his Vernon office, says he grew up with a number of physical and psychiatric ailments and was raped at age 13 at a summer camp in France.

But Hessler, 48, blames his conduct primarily on prescription drug abuse, which started when he was prescribed pain medication after falling and hurting his back while lifting a patient, according to a federal sentencing memorandum filed by his lawyer, Bethany L. Phillips.

Federal Judge Stefan R. Underhill is scheduled to sentence Hessler next Wednesday for producing child pornography in a hearing to be held via teleconference.

Hessler’s federal plea agreement calls for him to receive 360 months, or 30 years, in prison. But Phillips is asking the judge to impose a 347-month sentence to credit Hessler for 13 months he spent in state custody before he technically became a federal prisoner after his December guilty plea in the child-pornography case.

Hessler and his lawyer say he has experienced extensive abuse in prison, by prisoners and guards.

“Every trip to court is terrifying due to the abuse he suffers from other inmates while being transported to court,” Phillips wrote. She added that avoiding a trip to court is among the reasons he has agreed to be sentenced via teleconference.

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