Concord sex offender Mandigo gets 10 years for assault on 12-year-old girl
The mother of a 12-year-old girl who was assaulted last year in their Concord home confronted the child’s attacker, David Mandigo, in court yesterday, describing in detail the morning she awoke to find him with his hands under her daughter’s bedcovers.
“A child’s worst nightmare is a monster hiding under the bed, and a mother’s worst nightmare – apart from her child’s death – is to learn that her child is the victim of a sexual predator,” she said, choking back tears. “David Mandigo is that monster and my worst nightmare. He is a sex offender of the worst kind – the kind that victimizes young girls.”
Mandigo, a 42-year-old local with a history of voyeurism and low-level criminal mischief, sat dolefully a few feet away in an orange prison uniform, his head angled down. Four months ago, he pleaded guilty to breaking into the family’s North State Street home and placing his arms in the young girl’s bed.
Judge Larry Smukler of Merrimack County Superior Court sentenced Mandigo to 10 years in prison, as well as mandatory registration as a high-level sex offender and a 25-year ban from the city of Concord. It was the maximum he could give under the terms of Mandigo’s plea bargain with county attorneys.
Smukler described the sentence as on “the lenient end,” and said he was unconvinced by Mandigo’s contention earlier in the hearing that he had no intention of assaulting a child.
“The best I can say is you’re acting under some self-delusion,” Smukler said. “The worst is you’re lying.”
The incident took place early May 10. The mother said she awoke to the sound of someone walking through the hallway. When she discovered Mandigo in her daughter’s room, she screamed and he ran out. Her two teenage sons were also home at the time, but her husband was away on business. Authorities later tracked Mandigo to a private treatment facility on Beacon Street where he had been going for sex offender counseling.
The business was later pushed out by the city after residents protested its proximity to families and young children.
The mother said the attack “totally changed our lives.” They moved out, bought a new house and sought counseling. Her daughter couldn’t sleep at night. The mother continues to have violent panic attacks.
“That sense of safety is gone,” she said.
It was hardly the first instance in which Mandigo had invaded the privacy of another. David Rotman, the county prosecutor, said he has a misdemeanor record spanning some two decades, and has admitted to peeping at women on countless occasions – outside a dormitory at St. Paul’s School, in dressing rooms, by snapping pictures under their skirts.
Mandigo is a diagnosed sex addict who continued to drink despite knowing that alcohol only spurred his unlawful inclinations, Rotman said. For years, he had slipped through the criminal justice system mostly unscathed. This time, however, a threshold had been crossed.
“The seriousness of this offense cannot be overstated,” Rotman said.
Mandigo’s lawyer, Jim Moir, who had been seeking a five-year sentence, said he empathized with the victim’s family, but believed Mandigo to be physically harmless.
“He’s a voyeur, he looks,” Moir said. “He doesn’t touch. That’s never been his thing.”
He added that Mandigo had not realized at the time that the victim was a young girl, and had been “horrified” to later learn that.
Mandigo’s mother, Carol, also testified on his behalf, and described a host of chronic illnesses, learning disabilities and familial struggles. Her husband was an alcoholic and had abandoned the family early on. Mandigo’s brother, her other son, had died some years ago from leukemia. It devastated the family.
“David is a really good person with multiple problems,” she said.
Mandigo, speaking just before his sentence was announced, said he was “disgusted” by his behavior.
“I am truly sorry for the pain and suffering and the damages I have caused this family,” he said. “They don’t deserve it.”
He added, “I hope we can all rebuild our futures.”
(Jeremy Blackman can be reached at 369-3319, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JBlackmanCM.)