Joseph (Jo-Jo) Giorgianni, the 565-pound sex offender released from prison after his lawyers claimed it endangered his health, was returned to prison today to resume serving a 15-year term.
The decision by Judge Richard Barlow Jr. in Trenton, N.J., Superior Court ended a two-day hearing called to reconsider a reduced sentence originally imposed by Barlow after Giorgianni's conviction for raping a 14-year-old girl.
"The defendant is capable of engaging in stressful situations with apparently no adverse affects," Barlow said today. "His health problems have not prevented him from leading a normal life style."
There was no response from Giorgianni, who waived his right to attend the first day of the hearing after claiming earlier in the week to be "the victim."
Barlow had reduced Giorgianni's sentence to three years of probation and a $2,000 fine.
Pale and subdued, Giorgianni sat through today's proceedings on a special double-width wooden bench. Later crowds of onlookers, mostly women, cheered as he was taken to a police van for the ride to jail.
Giorgianni, 33, had arrived for the hearing in a Lincoln Continental driven by a woman described as his girlfriend.
Barlow, heavily criticized for ordering Giorgianni's release after he had been jailed only a week, blamed the local Mercer County prosecutor's office for that decision, saying he would not have released Giorgianni had he known of sufficient evidence against the move.
Giorgianni, who suffers from asthma and other ailments related to his size, was released Aug. 6 after doctors testified that imprisonment would threaten his life because he requires special facilities, including air conditioning.
Testimony this week, however, revealed that Giorgianni has spent hours at gaming tables in Atlantic City, where he also attended boxing matches.
In one videotape shown at the hearing Giorgianni was seen with a cigar in his mouth as he moved unaided to a ringside seat.
One prosecution witness, a doctor, testified that Giorgianni came to his office panting audibly, walking with a cane and supported by two friends. Upon examination, however, the doctor said, Giorgianni's complaints about respiratory problems "were more histrionics than actual disease."
Prosecutor Phillip Carchman, responding to the judge's criticism, noted that he had produced a trial witness who testified that, although Giorgianni had physical problems, he could serve his term. "But the judge decided otherwise," Carchman said.
Giorgianni's attorney immediately appealed today's ruling, asking for bail and a stay of the sentence, but it was rejected.
After the verdict, the rape victim's 23-year-old sister, who was in court, said, "I feel just great. I was holding my breath. This will really help my sister."
The case, involving what the appellate and trial courts described as a "heinous crime," began in October, 1978, when, according to Carchman, Giorgianni and co-defendant Clarence Sindora attacked and raped the girl, who had come to Giorgianni's restaurant.
"She . . . went to use the bathroom facilities, and Mr. Giorgianni and another man sat her down, gave her some liquor and forced her to perform sexual acts," Carchman said.