When New Yorker Cheryl Pierson was 16 in 1986, she and her boyfriend Rob Cuccio paid a classmate $400 to kill her abusive dad, who she said repeatedly raped her.
To this day, she claims that she didn’t think her classmate, Sean Pica, would go through with it, according to an interview with People magazine three decades later. She is currently promoting the book she wrote with Cuccio, who is now her husband, called Incest, Murder and a Miracle: The True Story Behind the Cheryl Pierson Murder-for-Hire Headlines.
But Cheryl Pierson Cuccio, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to six months in prison before being released after just over three months for good behavior, hopes that her story can help teens living with sexual abuse today.
“It’s not an easy life to live when you’ve endured that pain,” Cheryl Cuccio told the magazine. “I just want people who have gone through [sexual abuse] to know that it doesn’t ruin your life.”
At the time, Cuccio said she worried that her father would move onto raping her sister.
“It wasn’t that he was killed for his money. It wasn’t that he was killed because we didn’t like him,” said Robert Cuccio to CBS New York earlier this year. “It was because he was beating and raping his daughter on an almost every night basis.”
“I didn’t realize at that time that murder was so final,” Cheryl Cuccio said. “I just wanted the problem to stop and go away.”
Pica served sixteen years in prison for the killing.
[Image: Provided by Cuccio to People]