Federal judge upholds Newton's sentence

A federal judge ruled Monday that former state Senator Ernie Newton will continue to serve a five-year prison sentence for tax evasion and accepting a bribe.

Newton pleaded guilty in 2005 to accepting a $5,000 bribe, using campaign contributions for personal expenses and failing to report income on his federal tax return.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals revisited the case to determine whether U.S. District Judge Alan H. Nevas was correct in using 2005 federal sentencing guidelines when he originally sentenced Newton. The 2005 guidelines are harsher than the 2003 guidelines, which Newton?s attorneys argued should have been used because of the timing of the illegal acts.

Nevas upheld the original sentence. He said a shorter sentence would not have sent the message about rampant political corruption in Connecticut.

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