A Rockville Centre 16-year-old, accused of sodomizing another youth with a broomstick at Phoenix House in Wainscott Sunday afternoon, is being held at the county jail in Riverside in lieu of $250,000 cash bail. He entered a plea of not guilty during his arraignment in East Hampton Town Justice Court on Monday.
The attack occurred at about 4:30, police said. The 18-year-old victim, whose name was not released, was rushed to Southampton Hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery. He was still hospitalized as of yesterday.
The alleged attacker, Joseph M. Cardinali, was charged with aggravated sexual abuse, a class B felony, and with third-degree assault, a misdemeanor. The felony charge carries a minimum mandatory five-year prison term upon conviction.
Police said that the accused youth and the victim were recent acquaintances. They would not say whether the two were residents at the facility, citing patient confidentiality laws. A call to Phoenix House yesterday was not returned.
Young Cardinali was held overnight at police headquarters in Wainscott before being arraigned late Monday morning at East Hampton Town Justice Court, where he entered a plea of not guilty. Due to his age, Justice Lisa Rana cleared the courtroom, allowing only his attorney, Sheila Mullahy of the Legal Aid Society; Maggie Bopp of the district attorney’s office, and the arresting officer, East Hampton Town Detective Wayne R. Matta, to remain, along with three other officers.
John McGann, a court officer, stationed himself directly behind the wiry but muscular youth for the entire 20-minute arraignment, which could be observed, though not heard, through the courthouse door. The defendant appeared skittish during the proceedings, shifting his weight constantly from foot to foot. At one point he could be seen signing a court order of protection for the victim, a standard procedure in assault cases.
When it came to bail, Ms. Bopp and Ms. Mullahy alternately addressed the court, after which Justice Rana spoke at length, apparently examining the youth’s record. Because of his age, his criminal record, if any, is sealed.
After the high bail was set the teenager, expressionless, was led back to a waiting squad car. He is due back in court today unless a grand jury indicts him. If no indictment is obtained he will be released without bail.
A traffic stop on the morning of Nov. 9 at Abraham’s Path and Springs-Fireplace Road in Amagansett led to the arrest of a 27-year-old East Hampton woman on a criminal marijuana possession charge, along with several charges of possession of a controlled substance, at least some of which is believed by the police to be hallucinogenic mushrooms.
Mandy J. Favata’s 1995 Honda was pulled over, police said, because its rear window was nontransparent, a violation. The arresting officer said the car “smelled like marijuana,” and that there was “a clear plastic bag” of the drug in the ash tray. A search of the car turned up a bag in the back seat that also smelled like marijuana, according to the report. Inside, the officer found what was described as a “brown fungus substance.” The bags were seized and sent to the county crime lab.
Ms. Favada was released by the police on $200 bail and was arraigned last Thursday in Justice Court.