“Safety notice: Sex Offender in Your Area.” That “area” is Hamilton.
His name is John Amendola, 59, and he was sprung on June 22 after serving three years of a five-year sentence. There was no fanfare to celebrate his new start in life.
Amendola was convicted in 2017 of sexual exploitation of a young person and assault with a weapon.
He sexually assaulted his victim — his adopted daughter — daily between the ages of 14 and 20, and some of this was all neatly brushed under the carpet in a plea deal.
Oh, he also summoned the magical powers of Gladue (the statute declaring courts must take into account an offender’s Native heritage when sentencing), claiming Indigenous heritage.
His father was Italian. His mother was English. The judge “gave him the benefit of the doubt” without a scintilla of evidence.
In 2000, he wiggled out of a long prison sentence when he pleaded out to assault causing bodily harm after imprisoning a young mother and her six-year-old daughter for three months. They allegedly endured sexual assaults but the plea deal made them go away. Eighteen months, baby!
His adopted daughter Becca Amendola — who waved a publication ban barring the release of her name at the time of her father’s trial — told the Toronto Sun the sex offender remains dangerous.
“We knew he was going to be released, but he only served three years in prison. That’s not even close to what he deserved,” she said. “There was no explanation why it was such a short amount of time and I was disappointed.”
Becca added: “He worked very hard to play the system. That happened in both cases.”
Becca, now 30, grew up in a toxic, highly dysfunctional family and admits she was a frequent runaway.
John Amendola stepped in vowing to ensure the 14-year-old towed the line and attended school. Her troubled mother signed off and Becca moved in with the welder and mechanic.
Within days he was slapping her. Worse was to come.
“The sexual abuse started about 10 months after I moved in. I was a sexually active child — it was for attention and no one was watching me,” Becca told the Sun.
“John expressed concern about me being sexually active. He was so worried that he came home and announced he would ‘take care’ of my sexual needs,” Becca said, adding Amendola was sterile.
“We’re doing this so you don’t get pregnant,” he allegedly said, as he sexually assaulted the 14-year-old.
“I rolled over and cried myself to sleep,” Becca said.
Becca said John’s MO is like a lot of other sex offenders: Groom, “smile a lot,” do nice things for people.
Ultimately, he is a con artist and in our social justice-infused courtrooms, his sob stories sold.
His appearances, according to Becca and media reports, were like something out an Academy Awards highlight reel. There was the “Harvey Weinstein” — he used a walker as a prop, moved slowly, claimed brain damage and acted like he needed help getting up.
“He is fine. When he walks out the door, he walks straight without any assistance,” Becca alleged.
In addition, there’s the Gladue Gambit he pulled in 2017. The judge let him get away with it. The Crown screamed it “defies credulity,” slammed the play as “abhorrent” and a “travesty.”
Now he is back on the streets of Hamilton.
“He’s a really messed-up person,” Becca said, adding if people saw how the justice system works, they “would be rioting in the streets.”
The Sun was unable to track down John Amendola for comment.
But Becca doubts this child molester feels any remorse about what he did to her as a young girl for six agonizing years.
“He may carry some guilt from the case in 2000 but definitely not for what he did to me,” Becca said. “He told people that he was really the victim. He took my innocence and my body and is still gaming the system even now.”
“He’s still dangerous, absolutely without a doubt,” she added. “He’ll do it again.”
For more on Becca’s story go to her YouTube channel.