Rape Charges Dismissed

No trial for Steven Mezynieski

Felony charges of rape against Steven M. Mezynieski of Orient, who was accused of attacking a teenage girl at his farm there last summer, has been dismissed. He pleaded guilty Wednesday in Suffolk County Criminal Court to misdemeanor sex abuse in the third degree, and will not have to register as a sex offender.  

"This morning, Mr. Mezynieski was offered an opportunity to end this matter by pleading guilty to a low-level misdemeanor with no jail time," his attorneys, Edward Burke Jr. of Sag Harbor and Steve Scaring of Garden City, said in a statement. "Mr. Mezynieski felt he owed it to his family to avoid a lengthy trial accompanied by daily press coverage which would affect his children and his wife. His family fully supports his decision to take this plea and end this matter." 

Judge Barbara Kahn sentenced him to a year's probation and fined him the mandatory state surcharge of $250.

The owner of a well-known eponymous excavating company, the largest on the East End, Mr. Mezynieski, 45, was arrested by New York State police last summer. He was charged with two class B felonies, first-degree rape and committing a sex act in the first degree. He was accused of raping the girl, 18, twice in a three-year period, the first time when she was 16. 

He has been free on bail since his arrest. He was never indicted. 

"To go from a B felony to a B misdemeanor speaks volumes in the legal world," Mr. Burke said. "The D.A. investigated this case thoroughly, and from that came dismissal of felony counts -- no jail, no registration, no sex-offender status, and no trial." 

Had he been convicted as charged, he faced up to 25 years in prison on each of the charges.