The Massachusetts man convicted in the so-called "Puppy Doe" animal abuse case has been sentenced to at least eight years in prison followed by two years of probation.
Radoslaw Czerkawski, 36, was found guilty Monday in Superior Courthouse in Dedham on 12 counts of felony animal cruelty and not guilty of one count of lying to police.
At the sentencing hearing Tuesday, prosecutors recommended that Czerkawski be sentenced to 12 to 15 years in state prison. Czerkawski's attorney asked the judge for a 5-year sentence.
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As terms of the probation, the judge ordered Czerkawski not to have any contact with animals.
Czerkawski made national headlines in 2013 for allegedly abusing a pit bull known as "Puppy Doe."
The pit bull mix — originally known as Kiya — was found starving and beaten in Quincy back in August 2013. Witnesses testified she had injuries that spanned a number of weeks, including broken and dislocated bones, cigarette burns, stab wounds and a split tongue.
Jurors deliberated for about a day after closing arguments concluded Thursday; court was not in session on Friday.
Defense attorney Larry Tipton argued that his client wasn't the person who abused the dog.
"He had a dog, the dog ran away, and if it is the same dog in the street, the dog was injured by other people," Tipton said. "They want you to believe that this man brutally and savagely clipped the tongue of that dog, and they don't have one piece of evidence."
Prosecutors had alleged Czerkawski abandoned Kiya on the same day that the 95-year-old woman he was caring for on Whitwell Street died in an apparent effort to conceal the animal abuse.
"He is the last person ever seen with Kiya healthy, and he is the person that inflicted those injuries on Kiya," Assistant District Attorney Gregory Connors said.
The Animal Rescue League of Boston called Tuesday's sentencing, "a historic day for animal welfare in Massachusetts."
“With the conviction and sentencing of Radoslaw Czerkawski, it has been demonstrated that people who commit animal cruelty, and in this case extreme cruelty, will be held accountable," Mary Nee, president of the Animal Rescue League Boston said in a public statement.
Czerkawski is already serving time in prison for stealing more than $100,000 from the elderly woman for whom he was a caregiver.