Daily News Miner
November 5, 1994
JURY HEARS PIERONI'S TAPED CONFESSION
BY LIN GALE Staff Writer
Stephan Pieroni told an investigator he performed oral sex on a 4-year old boy in a Fred Meyer toy department this summer because he was a homosexual who had not had sex in a long time.
In the barely audible taped conversation, jurors also heard Pieroni tell Alaska State Trooper Bay Gary that his need to expose himself
"takes over all other priorities.''
Pieroni, 46, made the admissions in a confession played for jurors Friday, the second day of his trial on a charge of sexual abuse of a minor and three counts of indecent exposure. He faces up to 33 years in jail if convicted on all counts.
He is accused of exposing himself to the 4 year-old boy and molesting him on July 13 in the Fred Meyer on Airport Way while the boy's older brother was in the next aisle. He is also accused of exposing himself to two sisters, ages 5 and 6, the following day while with their mother shopping in Kmart. The children testified against him Thursday.
His confession was played despite pretrial attempts by the defense to have it thrown out as evidence because the whole interview was not recorded. Superior Court Judge Richard Savell allowed it and the boys' identification of Pieroni through a photo lineup to be used as evidence. Difficult to hear
Pieroni's taped confession was so difficult to hear that the prosecution handed jury members transcripts to read as they listened. The judge warned that the written version might differ from what they heard on tape.
In the confusion, Pieroni told Gary he got "high" from exposing himself in public places and had done so about three or four times a week for the past six weeks, according to the transcribed statement.
"What I'm trying to say is it's not just physical anymore with me, it's mental... it's a thrill," Pieroni said.
Pieroni said the only time he actually went beyond exposing himself was when he encountered the 4-year old in the Fred Meyer toy department.
On the taped confession, Gary asks Pieroni if he had oral sex with the boy, as the boy had said.
"That's what I did," Pieroni says.
"Why'd you decide to do that?" Gary asks.
"Well, I am gay... and I haven't had a sexual partner in a long time,"
Pieroni says. Those words are heard clearly on the tape. Pieroni also told Gary he did not know why his old "deviancy" had returned .
"I don't understand why it's kicked up again," he said.
Pieroni was convicted in 1971 of raping a 15-year old boy in a small room in a Catholic church in Oregon, according to court records from that state.
He was also convicted of the felony of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes in Washington in 1982, according to court records.
The jury will not hear of Pieroni's prior convictions during trial.
The state played Pieroni's confessions, and put three witnesses - investigator Gary, another trooper, and the head of Fred Meyer security on the stand before resting its case Friday.
Defense attorney Geoffrey Wildridge, of the Public Defenders Agency, asked that Pieroni be given the weekend to decide whether he wants to testify on his own behalf. Wildridge did not call any witnesses.
He did, however, demonstrate to jurors that the boys' identification of Pieroni through the photo lineup, was tainted, because they had seen Pieroni in a video tapes several days earlier. That footage was shot by a Fred Meyer security camera and shows Pieroni walking through the same toy department where he allegedly molested the 4-year-old three days before.
Wildridge had asked that the photo lineup be tossed out as evidence before the trial because Pieroni's clothing, the way his hat was worn, and the amount of his torso showing in the photograph differed from the other five men photographed.
The trial resumes at 8:30 a.m. Monday. Following closing statements, jury deliberations will likely begin by afternoon.