Hamburg sisters sentenced for 'horrific' abuse of elderly father

Jul 16, 2019

Erie County District Attorney John Flynn calls it one of the most horrific cases of abuse his office has ever prosecuted.

Three sisters from Hamburg have each been sentenced to two years in prison after repeatedly abusing their elderly father over a span of 17 years.

In May, Elissa Pietrocarlo, 41, Grace Pietrocarlo, 31. and Annabel Pietrocarlo, 23, were all found guilty of second-degree assault following a three-day bench trial in State Supreme Court. Prosecutors outlined a long pattern of physical and emotional abuse toward their father, 73-year-old Michael Pietrocarlo, at their North Creek Road home, starting in 2002.

It began when the eldest sister, Elissa, who was referred to as "The Prophet," claimed she received messages from God, including one indicating their father was being unfaithful to their mother, whom they called the "Queen of God." When he denied the infidelity, he was allegedly beaten. He was separated and forced to sleep in the home's kitchen, where he said he was subjected to random physical attacks on multiple occasions, at times resulting in him sleeping in his truck.

During one incident on Sept. 9, 2017, the father was choked, kicked and punched by his daughters, one of whom stole $1,100 from his pocket, after he was accused of defiling his wife's name online to a friend. Michael Pietrocarlo drove himself to a nearby hospital, where he was treated for a fractured rib and bruised spleen.

Upon his return, the victim was told by his family to stay away from the home during daylight hours. If he did not comply, he was told they would "break every bone in his body." The victim then told a friend about the abuse, who contacted authorities and requested a welfare check. 

"For years, these women emotionally, financially, and physically abused their own father,” Flynn said, in a statement. “I commend the victim for having the strength to come forward about the abuses he endured at the hands of his own children. I hope that he feels justice has been served by these women being found guilty and sentenced to be a period of incarceration.”

The sisters faced sentences of up to seven years in prison. Along with the two-year jail sentence, Justice Christopher Burns ordered three years of post-release supervision and issued a no-contact order of protection for the victim. Annabel Pietrocarlo was convicted of an additional charge of petit larceny for stealing her father's cash and was sentenced to six months in jail, which will be served concurrently to her assault conviction.

The mother, Christine Pietrocarlo, was acquitted of menacing and robbery charges in the trial. She was not charged with assault.