Man Gets 3.5 Years For Attempted Sex Assault

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Robert Samarippas, former co-owner and operator of the Samarippas Center, which provides day care for developmentally disabled children and adults, was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison as a result of an agreement in which he pleaded guilty to attempted sexual assault of a woman in his care.

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Robert Samarippas

In July 2003, Samarippas, 52, admitted to having sexual contact with a 36-year-old developmentally disabled woman he was supervising.

"It is considered a sexual assault because the victim did not have the capacity to consent," Gila County Attorney Daisy Flores said. "He will also be required to register as a sex offender for life."

Samarippas, who is no longer associated with the center, will be restricted from any similar occupation once he gets released from prison.

"I can't imagine any agency allowing him to work in the same capacity since he will be a registered sex offender," Flores said.

"It will follow him for life and affect his employment."

Samarippas, who has a first-grade education and cannot read or write, said the relationship was consensual. "He took advantage of her," Flores said. "No matter what, he is at fault and shouldn't have been doing that with someone in his care."

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