Prosecutor voices disgust after Abril ‘shows no remorse’

Published 4:38 pm Thursday, November 20, 2008

Coman also said Abril is &dquo;selfish&dquo; for having only thought of himself during the case.

Coman said the state&squo;s main objective was to show the community what kind of person Abril really is.

&dquo;Our main objective when we took the case was to expose him for the kind of person he was,&dquo; said Coman. &dquo;It was important to get him out of office and we had to make him a convicted felon so he could never hold office again.&dquo;

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Coman said the biggest concern for the state in going through with a trial was what it would have done to the victims and their families. He said a trial would have embarrassed them 20 years later and exposed their families and that would have taken a big toll on them.

Coman also said the victims were not vindictive at all and were more concerned with having Abril admit in open court that he committed these crimes and having the community believe, finally, that they were telling the truth.

N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper also issued a comment about the case on Monday.

&uot;Law enforcemetn officers must be above reproach, but they are not above the law,&uot; said Cooper. &uot;Our prosecutors and investigators have worked hard to seek justice in this case. We hope that the people of Polk County can now put these events behind them and have the good law enforcement they deserve.&uot;

Abril&squo;s attorney Stephen Lindsay said following the guilty plea Monday that Abril denies doing any improper conduct and he pleaded only to solicitation, which refers to improper words, not conduct.

Lindsay said Abril admitted to that only because he was under huge pressure facing the possibility of life sentences if he were found guilty of statutory rape.

&dquo;We felt like the risk was too great to take,&dquo; Lindsay said.

Abril was indicted in 2006 on five counts of rape of a child and one count of sexual offense on two victims who were ages 10 and 11 at the time. The charges stemmed from alleged incidents between 1987 and 1989. Abril took a plea deal on Monday that makes him a convicted felon and he was sentenced to 120 days of house arrest, three years of supervised probation and an additional two years of unsupervised probation.

Lindsay said he and Abril felt like they could have won at trial, but that Abril couldn&squo;t take the risk of never seeing his kids graduate high school or college or never holding his grandchildren.

&dquo;He&squo;s going home to his children and that was the most important thing to him,&dquo; said Lindsay.

Abril received a two-year sentence for the crime, which was suspended. He also permanently lost his law enforcement certification and is a convicted felon. His house arrest begins on Dec. 1 for four months, during which he will be electronically monitored.

Coman says it is his opinion that based on Abril&squo;s past he will not be able to live up to the conditions of probation and at some point his sentence will be activated.

Abril&squo;s supervised probation conditions include drug and alcohol testing, search clauses, and a mental health evaluation. Abril or someone representing him is not permitted contact with the victims, their families, or anyone on the state&squo;s witness list.