Convicted autism therapist impersonator Stacy Lore showed no emotion as the parents of some of the special needs children she victimized made impassioned statements to the court Thursday before Lore was sentenced to three years in prison and five years of probation.
Margaret Bustell sobbed uncontrollably and addressed many of her comments directly to Lore. "My son was mute. He couldn't talk. Instead of teaching him signs like eat and tired, she taught him animal signs like cow and dog."
Lore, 34, of Carmel, N.Y., pleaded guilty to larceny, fraud and misrepresenting her credentials in working for the Norwalk schools as an autism counselor via Spectrum Kids LLC. She was paid more than $150,000 for that work. She also faces charges in Weston, where she was paid $300,000 for similar work. She also was employed by the Stamford school system. She has been in custody since March.
After hearing the remarks of victims' families, Superior Court Judge Richard Comerford Jr. asked Lore if she had anything to say. "No," she replied.
"This is an indescribable crime against helpless children," the judge said. "If you so much as blink the wrong way during your probation, you'll regret ever having met me."
The mother of another victim, Supraja Krishna of Norwalk, told the court, "I wish even my enemies shouldn't have to go through what my son and I have gone through as a result of Stacy Lore."
Krishna continued, "I'm very worried that if she continues doing this in another state when she gets out, that many more families and children will also be hurt."
The third mother to comment was Kimberly Graham, also of Norwalk, who said, "Financially, Stacy has devastated my family. We had to refinance our home in order to correct the harm she had caused my son."
Bustell added that "Stacy actually became our friend during this process, and all the time she was lying to us. She sat in my dining room and denied the allegations against her when they were brought up."
In addition to the jail time, Lore is required to make restitution to the families, may never have contact in any manner with the families and will not be allowed to hold any position that relates to children.
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