Thursday, November 2, 2006

The Court Report
By Richard Blassberg

Middle School Teacher Pleads
Guilty To Sex Charges
Westchester County Court, White Plains
Sex Offender Part
Judge Rory J. Bellantoni Presiding

Former Hammocks Middle School music teacher, Omar Rodriguez, 27 pleaded guilty in Westchester County Court, Sex Offender Part, to one count of Third Degree Rape, an E class felony, and Endangering the Welfare Of A Child, an A class misdemeanor. Rodriguez, who was originally charged with two counts of third Degree Rape, involving a girl from Connecticut, and inappropriate physical contact with several girls, from the Mamaroneck school, was represented by Attorney Robert Mancuso.

Rodriguez, who remained free on $100,000 bail, pleaded guilty under an agreement that had been worked out between Mancuso and Assistant DA Christine Hatfield. Hat-field addressed Judge Bellantoni, “I am asking Your Honor to sit as a local court judge in the Village of Mamaroneck, Town of Mamaroneck.”

Judge Bellantoni then proceeded to determine that the Defendant had, in fact, discussed the option, and the implications, of waiving indictment by a grand jury, with his attorney, and, had actually signed a Waiver of Indictment.

Having satisfied the Judge’s inquiry, Attorney Mancuso addressed the Court, “Mr. Rodriguez has authorized me to offer a plea of guilty to each of the two counts.”

Assistant DA Hatfield then proceeded to take the Defen-dant’s guilty plea. In the course of his pleading Rodriguez admitted that on December 26, 2005 he had engaged in sexual intercourse with a sixteen-year-old girl at his home in the Town of Mamaroneck. He further admitted to pulling an eleven-year-old girl onto his lap on several occasions, holding her against her will.

Following the Defendant’s formal pleading, Judge Bellantoni spelled out the conditions under which Rodriguez would be sentenced, as per the terms of the plea agreement. He indicated that the Defendant would receive six months Shock Probation, (imprisonment) followed by Ten Years Probation.

He further indicated that Rodriguez would be required to surrender his teacher’s license indefinitely, pay a $1,000 fee, plus court costs, and comply with ten separate Orders of Protection, intended to insure the fact that he would not make physical contact with any of his juvenile victims.

Judge Bellantoni then admonished the Defendant with, “It is my understanding that the victims and families have
accepted these conditions. The offer of these conditions is for the benefit of your victims, avoiding the necessity of their appearances in court. It is not offered for your benefit.”

Sentence was set for January seventh. Rodriguez remains free on bail.

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