The daughter of a high-ranking New York mafia boss has pleaded for mercy on his behalf, saying he supported her and her same-sex partner and he deserves to spend time with their son.

Dennis Delucia, 71, pleaded guilty last year to extortion and faces 46 months in prison. Delucia is renowned as a capo of the Colombo crime family, one of the “Five Families” that dominate organised crime in New York.

According to the New York Daily News, his daughter, Donna Delucia, has written to Judge Kiyo Matsumoto at Brooklyn Federal Court to ask for her father to be let off with a light sentencing.

She writes that although her father was a “chauvinist”, forbidding her brothers to help with chores on the grounds that they are male, she was surprised to find he accepted her when she came out as a lesbian.

“I finally came out at 22 years old,” she wrote. “My mother did not handle it well and pushed me away …. I was scared, frightened and afraid of my dad’s reaction.

However, she adds: “My dad was the one who told me he would love me no matter what I would do or tell him.”

Ms Delucia wrote that her father had cried when he learned that she and her partner wanted to have a baby.

He gave financial support to allow the couple to move from Philadelphia to New York, where same-sex couples have more extensive parenting rights. The two are now raising a 9-year-old son in Kentucky.

“My dad accepted me, embraced me and has supported me. His love and acceptance helped me through the rough times and growing pains,” she wrote. “Please let him come home. I want my son to spend long days with his grandfather.”

In 2009 a mafia hitman astonished a court by declaring that he had renounced his blood oath, and said he wanted to live a quiet life with his boyfriend.

Earlier this month Lisa Winters, the former head of an LGBT community centre in New York City was jailed for embezzling more than $300,000 (£198,557) from the organisation.