JBLM soldier who killed wife, raped girl sentenced

Staff writersFebruary 24, 2013 

A Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for fatally stabbing his wife and raping her daughter, Army officials said Saturday,

Staff Sgt. Robert S. Chiaravallotti, who pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of murder, raping a child and assaulting a child, also was sentenced to be reduced in rank to private, and to forfeit his pay, said Lt. Col. Gary Dangerfield. Chiaravallotti, 41, was sentenced Friday.

Judge Maj. Stefan R. Wolfe accepted Chiaravallotti’s guilty plea, and a pretrial agreement settled on a maximum sentence of life without parole. A murder conviction in military court carries a mandatory minimum life sentence.

The military said Chiaravallotti stabbed his wife, Dionne Chiaravallotti, 39, to death on Aug. 25 at the home on base where she lived with her children.

Chiaravallotti said that just before killing his wife he had intended to attack her then-14-year-old daughter in the same manner. Instead, he said that, after the girl saw him kill her mother, he raped the teen, as he had done multiple times in the year before the stabbing.

At the time of the crimes, officials said, Chiaravallotti was stationed in South Korea, where he served in the Eighth Army Band. He had returned to JBLM on emergency leave.

Chiaravallotti told the court the stabbing occurred after he decided to make his wife aware of the sexual acts with her daughter. He said he cut the teen on the forehead when she tried to stop him from playing a disc with footage of her stripping.

The video played, and at the end Chiaravallotti told his stepdaughter to tell her mother about the rapes. When his enraged wife came at him, he testified, he had been imagining attacking his stepdaughter with the knife he was holding but instead used it on his wife.

The stabbing was not self-defense, he admitted.

Minutes after the stabbing he told the girl he was going to kill himself but instead raped her.

c.r. roberts@ thenewstribune.com alexis.krell@ thenewstribune.com

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