ITHACA, N.Y. — A local prosecutor read a remarkable statement written by the victim of a sex crime in Tompkins County Court on Thursday.


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Jeremiah McCoy
Jeremiah McCoy

The victim directed the message to Jeremiah McCoy, 37, of Ithaca, who today was sentenced to two years in state prison in connection with the crime. The victim is a minor.

“I am strong and I will no longer be afraid of you,” said the victim in a written note, read aloud to the courtroom by Tompkins County Assistant District Attorney Diane Lama.

“And if there is anything I feel toward you, it would be sympathy.”

McCoy, who pleaded guilty to attempted sexual abuse in late May, was also sentenced to 15 years of post-release supervision.

He chose not to address the court on Thursday.
See related: Ithaca man who committed sex crimes sentenced to state prison

Victim’s letter

The following was read in court on Thursday by ADA Lama and was written by the victim … parts of it were not reprinted by the Ithaca Voice to avoid the possibility of identifying the victim:

“Dear Jeremiah,

I’m writing this letter to you not only to tell you how I feel, but to express to you what you did to me  — physically and emotionally …

I looked up to you as someone who I could confide in … Someone who knew right from wrong and wrong from right. Now, this someone is a person who I hope I never have to see, because in my eyes this someone, Jeremiah McCoy, looks like a monster to me. You made me look like a complete lie  … (by) claiming that you would never do such a thing …

I am strong and I will no longer be afraid of you. And if there is anything I feel toward you, it would be sympathy.

I feel very sorry for you — because whatever you are going through today has changed you, and you aren’t the man you used to be. In fact, I’ll pray for you.

I’ll never hate you, and I’ll continue to smile and keep my head held high — and let God fight my strongest battle.

What I need you to know is that I will eventually forgive, but I will never forget what you did. How you had me so scared that I couldn’t stop my knees from trembling and my tears from falling, and all I wanted was to be comforted — but because of you, everyone just brushed me away and tried to justify your actions as being done only because you were high or drunk.

Most importantly, I hope this will follow you as long as it will me — because you, Jeremiah, hurt me. And that’s something I will never be able to let go.

No weapon formed against me shall prosper; you have not won. I’ll continue to pray for you.”

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.