HUDSON–The four people found guilty August 10 of multiple child-sex crimes were sentenced Tuesday, October 18 in Columbia County Court. The three men and one woman each received sentences that could keep them in prison for the rest of their lives.
The jury, which deliberated for a day-and-a-half, found each defendant guilty of at least two counts of predatory sexual assault against a child. The four were found guilty of sexually abusing a group of young children between June 2009 and February 2011.
During the trial each of the young victims chose to testify in person in the courtroom, although arrangements had been made to allow them to do so by video camera.
Before sentencing Columbia County Court Judge Richard Koweek rejected motions filed by defense lawyers to set aside the guilty verdicts. He also quoted one of the child victims, who said the defendants ruined the child’s life and the victim wished to be a baby again before the abuse.
Then Judge Koweek sentenced each of the four individually.
Goliath Van Alphen of Claverack received 124 2/3 years to life for 11 felonies. Judge Koweek said that Mr. Van Alphen had abused the trust accorded to an adult by a child.
The judge called William Wendover III of Cairo a predator before sentencing him to 69 ½ years to life.
Prior to sentencing Eugene Shackleton of Copake to 71 years to life, Judge Koweek said that he saw no remorse and characterized the conduct of which Mr. Shackleton had been found guilty as “beyond description.”
Jeanine Van Alphen-Moot of Hillsdale was the only defendant who spoke before sentencing. She maintained her innocence, saying: “I love my children with all my heart…. I am not this monster they make me out to be.”
Ms. Van Alphen-Moot was sentenced to 50 years to life.
The four were arrested by State Police December 22, 2014 following a two-year investigation, which began after the defendants stopped having contact with the children.