User-agent: * Allow: / Legal news, political opinion, Satire, and lawyer thinking by Tim Paynter, Attorney at Law: 16 year old teen from Manlius NY guilty first degree sexual abuse , rape of 14 year old, "No" means "No" in rape accusation

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

16 year old teen from Manlius NY guilty first degree sexual abuse , rape of 14 year old, "No" means "No" in rape accusation

Brilliant Teen goes from
Don Juan to
Convicted Felon
for First Degree
Sexual Abuse

Anthony J. Mussi, 16, of 4621 Brookhill Drive S., in Manlius, New York, near Syracuse, has his life turned upside down after dates with two girls landed him in jail on rape charges. 

Both incidents began "with some consensual activity" According to the District Attorney on the case, Cindi Newtown.  Each girl claims at some point 'full speed' ahead changed to 'stop now'.  Mussi failed to respect the victim's change of heart and found him self in hot water.

It all began around May 28th of 2009 when a 14 year old girl came forward claiming she had been raped by Anthony.  After an investigation by the State Police Computer Crimes Unit and the State Police Bureau of criminal Investigation, Anthony Mussi was arrested  The charges were first degree rape and endangering the welfare of a child.

Anthony's get out of jail free card was not free.  He was arraigned in the Town of Clay Court and remanded to the Onondaga County Justice Center jail on $25,000 cash bail or $50,000 bond. You can bet he was a happy cat when he was released from jail.

"Anthony did go farther, all the way to home base!"

Too bad for Anthony Mussi.  His life was hell and about to turn into Hades.  Shortly after his release on the first rape charge, a 15 year old girl came forward claiming he had raped her, too, after seeing the report of the first girl on the news.  Her story was the same as the prior victim's, that consensual activity began around 2:00 a.m. in a parking lot on Electronic's Way near Liverpool, New York, but then Anthony was told the girl did not want to go any further.  Anthony did go farther, all the way to home base.

Anthony was arrested again on June 6th, 2009.  This time bail was set at $100,000 or a $50,000 cash bond.  That made the total 'get out of jail' money in the two cases $150,000  in bail, or $75,000 cash bond.  Most bondsman charge between 10% to 15% of the bond amount, so if Mussi was bonded the cost to bond was over $45,000.  The cost for cash bail was $75,000.  A bond reduction hearing failed, the judge refused to reduce bond for a boy who was accused of raping under-age girls two times.

The teenager caught one heck of a good break or he had one heck of a good attorney.  In December of 2009, under a plea agreement, Anthony plead guilty in December of 2009 to a lesser charge of first-degree sexual abuse which satisfied both cases.  In pleading guilty, he admitted subjecting a 14-year-old girl to sexual contact by force on May 28, 2008.

Assistant District Attorney Cindi Newtown said the plea deal allowed the prosecution to avoid having the victims to be forced to testify at trial. It also allowed the prosecution to block Mussi from getting youthful offender treatment which would have removed the felony conviction from his permanent record and sealed the case file.  Without youthful offender treatment, Mussi will be required to resgister as a convicted sexual offender for the rest of his life, Newtown said.

"His chances of rehabilitation were likewise reduced"

The big tragedy in this case is the blocking of Anthony's ability to obtain youthful offender treatment.  While his sentence may have been dramatically reduced, his chances of rehabilitation were likewise reduced.  It is a typical prosecutorial mistake to confuse the need for punishment with the need for rehabilitation.  Considering Anthony is still a child under the law, such blocking will affect his chances of rehabilitation.  Since he is due for release in two years, the prosecution traded having the youth listed as a sexual offended in lieu of giving him the chance to get help.
Manlius, New York
Near Syracuse New York

Before the construction of the Erie Canal, Manlius was a large business point along the Cherry Valley Turnpike and Seneca Turnpikes. Since the traveling of goods passed through Manlius on these turnpikes, that every other structure along the highways were taverns. Between Manlius and nearby Chittenango, New York, there were only about six or seven public buildings.[1] Most of this stretch of the Seneca Turnpike is now New York State Route 173.

For twenty years, Manlius was the biggest trade center in Onondaga County, with what is now Syracuse, New York a swamp at the time.[1] Into the early 20th century, its St. John Military Academy was a respected private school for young men.  Excerpts from Wikpedia.

Photograph Manlius Library

If Anthony decides to live in Manlius after his release, he will have to register as one of three sexual offenders who live in the area.  Most sexual offenders avoid Manlius as it has a low rate of registered sexual offenders as a percent of population.
Anthony's lawyer James McGraw said Anthony is a "brilliant student" and a "very good athlete" who should be able to put his life together after serving his prison term.

County Judge Joseph Fahey told Mussi he faces a very long life if he doesn't learn what is appropriate and inappropriate in terms of his interaction with woman.

The sentencing had been postponed to today to allow Anthony to complete school at a private boarding school in Massachusetts.

Every one has sex problems.  That includes Anthony J. Mussi.  He has a lot to learn about how to treat a woman and when "no" really means "no".  If he had been a year older, he would have faced much more severe penalties.  A sentence of 15 to life is not unheard of in the State of Colorado. I am not sure what the sentencing guidelines are in New York State. 

The issue in front of every judge in a case like this is what do we do with 16 year old boys who commit forceful sexual acts.  Are they to become throw-away children?  Do we send them to prison for the majority of their lives, or in some cases, all of their lives?  Or do we let them know life is going to get a lot tougher if they can't clean up their act, hand them a severe sentence and pray they get the message?

In this case, Judge Fahey was obviously convinced Anthony Mussi has value to society.  Dropping two first degree rape charges and allowing him to plead to a lesser felony charge was a coup for defense lawyer James McGraw and for the youth.  Anthony could have spent most of his life reflecting upon two sexual exploits that changed the lives of three people, Anthony and two younger girls.  Young boys are sexual targets in prison and Anthony will need to learn to fight to protect his sexual integrity and his personal safety.  If he survives two years in prison, he will face a lifetime registering as a sexual offender, and thanks to Syracuse D.A. Cindi Newtown, Anthony won't have the benefit of youthful offender treatment.

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