- Associated Press - Friday, November 6, 2015

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - A Vermont man already serving a sentence for attempted murder for beating a female relative nearly to death with a baseball bat has received a second sentence for sexually assaulting the same victim.

James Scarola, a self-published author of horror and science fiction novels, was sentenced to 20 years in prison on the sex assault charge. It will be served at the same time as the 20-year sentence he is serving for second-degree attempted murder in the September 2013 attack.

WCAX-TV reports (https://bit.ly/1Q9iHNm ) that his victim told the judge before Friday’s sentencing that she is thankful to be alive and looking forward to the future.

Scarola pleaded guilty in March to aggravated domestic assault and no contest to attempted second-degree murder and sexual assault charges. He then said he wanted to withdraw his guilty pleas, claiming he didn’t understand what he was agreeing to, but a judge denied that request last month.

Scarola used the sentencing hearing to again object to that ruling and his sentence. WCAX quotes him as saying, “I am ashamed and overwhelmed with remorse and should take responsibility for what’s fair, and not the overzealous demands of the prosecution responding to politics and public clamor.”

Judge Michael Kupersmith on Friday called the case the most vicious attempted murder case he’s ever presided over, adding, “frankly a lot more vicious than some of the deaths that I’ve seen.”

Kupersmith called Scarola “pathetic.”

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