BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Judge William Skretny gave Ronald Tills the maximum under a pleadeal for transporting prostitutes across state lines.
Retired State Supreme Court Justice Ronald Tills, who arrived atthe Federal Courthouse with his wife of close to fifty years, hadorchestrated a "serious, reprehensible...and heinous crime," saidUnited States District Judge William Skretny, who imposed the toprange of punishment, a year and a half in federal prison and a$25,000 thousand dollar fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney John Rogowski said, "Judge Skretnyimposed that sentence, and his judgement I think was certainly fairand appropriate sentence in this case."
Tills had been the local head of a fraternal group called theRoyal Order of Jesters, and had admitted lining up prostitutes forgroup functions. He had pleaded guilty to transporting an illegalalien from Hamburg to Kentucky to provide sexual services.
Judge Skretny noted that the former judge had sex with a womanwho once appeared before Tills while he was on the bench.
Rogowski said, "The woman who was an undocumented alien, whocould barely speak English and was in no position to protest ordeny an request for sexual activity, in the Jester's event, I thinkwas extremely heinous."
Two other defendants in the case, former Lockport Police CaptainJohn Trowbridge and Tills' former law clerk Michael Stebick gotprobation.
Tills, who is a recovering alcoholic and suffers from heartdisease, had hoped to serve a minimal jail sentence. But in hisstatement before Judge Skretny, Tills talked about the "possibleharm" he caused his victims, "I pray for their help and recovery ifthere is any damage, and I pray for their forgiveness."
Judge Skretny questioned whether he was truly remorseful, as hisattorney Terry Connors had claimed.
Connors said, "He's expressed on numerous occasions howremorseful he is, both privately and, it's just hard to get upthere and that yourself, but the letters in the file and thedocumentation support that declaration of remorse."
Former Judge Tills, who was known for his tough sentencing, hadalso once served as a State Assemblyman and head trustee of hischurch.
He is a "real life Jekyll and Hyde," said Judge Skretny; arespectable role model on the one hand, and a man who victimizedvulnerable women on the other.
Prosecutor John Rogowski said Friday's sentencing of Tills wouldimpact on the public's confidence in the judicial system. JudgeSkretny imposed the stiffest sentence, saying Tills would not betreated any differently because of his status.
US District Judge William Skretny has sentenced former StateSupreme Court Judge Ronald Tills to 18 months in federal prison anda $25,000 fine, for violating the Mann Act.
He pleaded guilty in September 2008 to his role in transportinga female across state lines, with the intent to engage inprostitution.
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