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Wealthy CA Broker Sentenced for Molestation

Frank Vassallo gets nearly 15 years

August 25, 2003


A veteran Livermore, California mortgage broker has been sentenced to nearly 15 years following his conviction on charges of molesting a young boy for years.

Frank Gregory Vassallo, 41, was sentenced Aug. 18 to 14 years and 10 months in prison by Alameda County Judge Roy Hashimoto for molesting a boy for six years. Vassallo, who was convicted on six counts of sexual molestation, began molesting the boy when the victim was nine years old, Deputy Alameda County District Attorney Joni Leventis said in a phone interview.

The victim, now a teenager, read a statement during Vassallo's sentencing hearing.

"The boy said if (Vassallo) cared for him at all he would have admitted the abuse," Leventis said. "He told Vassallo he is not a factor in his life anymore."

Vassallo, who had claimed he was innocent, was convicted in June after a three week trial. A jury deliberated just three hours before reaching a guilty verdict, Leventis said.

Neither Leventis nor Livermore, Calif., police officer Mike Busevac -- who investigated the case -- could recall in interviews the names of mortgage firms where Vassallo had worked. But both said he had worked for more than one firm and was considered a successful mortgage broker in the Oakland and San Francisco metropolitan and suburban areas.

After his arrest he was held on $3 million bond because of his wealth, officials said.

Police began investigating him after the victim's mother, who apparently at one time had a relationship with Vassallo, accused Vassallo of molesting her son.

Livermore police arrested Vassallo on Sept. 4 of last year after the Alameda County District Attorney's filed multiple charges against him, including one count of continued sexual abuse, seven counts of forced oral copulation and seven counts of forced sodomy.

Ultimately he was charged with 60 counts. But Leventis said 54 charges were dropped so the victim would not be forced to provide lengthy testimony in open court.

"We had the evidence," she said. "But I dropped 54 charges so this kid would not have to go through years and years of abuse on the stand. He was subjected to every kind of action imaginable... (and) I didn't want him reliving that."

Patrick Crowley is a political reporter and columnist and former business writer for The Cincinnati Enquirer. Email Patrick at: [email protected]

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