No Indictment Yet

SOTO CASE

    In East Hampton Town Justice Court last Thursday, the attorney for Martin Soto, who was arrested in June on felony rape charges, waived, for now, the time limitations on when the prosecution would have to bring Mr. Soto to trial.
    Mr. Soto was arrested on June 15 by the East Hampton Town police, accused of having sexual relations with a 12-year-old girl in 2004.
    Bail was initially set at $200,000, however, when the Suffolk County district attorney’s office failed to get an indictment within the required 120 hours after his arrest, Mr. Soto was set free, the charges still hanging over him.
    Melissa Aguanno, an assistant district attorney, cautioned at the time and again last Thursday not to read too much into the lack of an indictment.
    Mr. Soto’s attorney, Stephen Grossman, however, expressed gratitude that the D.A.’s office had not rushed into an indictment and said that he was in communication with the office.
    Last Thursday’s session was a purely procedural one. The case was adjourned, and Mr. Soto is due back in court on Sept. 6.
    Seated in the courtroom was Mr. Soto’s accuser, whose name is being withheld by police, as well as her mother. Also in the court were members of Mr. Soto’s family.
    “I am very upset. They’ve changed everything,” the alleged victim’s mother said after the hearing. “They are not sure what to charge. I want the truth. I want justice.”
     She handed out a two-page hand-written statement in Spanish, expressing her support for her daughter and her distress at the district attorney’s inability, thus far, to bring an indictment.
    She then countered an allegation made by a member of Mr. Soto’s family after his last court appearance on June 28 that she or her daughter was seeking restitution from Mr. Soto.
    “I’ve worked very hard for our money,” she said in Spanish. “I don’t want his money after what he’s done to my daughter.”