Trial date set for CO accused of sexual contact with two young girls

By WKTV News

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - A trial date is set for January 9 for the Corrections Officer accuse of having sexual contact with two young girls.

Donald Hughes, of Floyd, who served as a corrections officer in Mohawk Correctional Facility in Rome for more than 20 years, stands accused of six sex crimes against two children - ages 10 and 12. Hughes has pleaded not-guilty to the crimes, that include first-degree sexual abuse and course of sexual conduct against a child. That charges says that unlawful sexual contact continued for an 18-month-period from September 2009 to April 2011.

On Tuesday, Hughes was in Oneida County Court to determine whether statements that he made to authorities should be admissible at trial.

Out on bail since first being charged with these crimes in Spring 2011, The Department of Corrections has maintained that Hughes is still listed as an employee, but is suspended pending the outcome of the case. Hughes was suspended without pay on May 7, 2011. State officials said that if the criminal charges result in a felony conviction, then Hughes would be automatically terminated form the position.

In early November, Hughes rejected a plea offer extended to him by the Oneida County District Attorney's Office that would have meant 15 years in prison. At trial, Hughes faces up to 50 years in prison if convicted.

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