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Plea offer made in sexual abuse case against Trenton Town Supervisor
UTICA, N.Y. (WTKV) - Trenton Town Supervisor Mark Scheidelman is accused of inappropriately touching a seven year old boy.
When he was arraigned in Oneida County Court on Monday on one count of first-degree sexual abuse, Scheidelman pleaded not-guilty, and then was presented with a plea offer from the prosecution.
Scheidelman's attorney George Aney and Oneida County Assistant District Attorney Dawn Catera Lupi had a bench conference with Oneida County Court Judge Michael Dwyer after Scheidelman pleaded not-guilty. Fifteen minutes later, Dwyer announced in court that a plea offer had been made by the prosecution.
Neither side will release the details of the offer until a decision is made on whether to accept it or not.
Dwyer set a date of April 1 for Scheidelman to decide whether to accept or reject the prosecution's offer.
The 53 year old has been the Town Supervisor in Trenton for twenty years, and also was the Oneida County Republican Chairman at one time.
State Police have said it was one of the child's family members who contacted the authorities to report the incident, which they say happened at Scheidelman's home in Trenton back on November 11, 2012.
Speaking to reporters after Monday's arraignment, Attorney Aney and wouldn't speak about the plea offer, only that he will discuss it with Scheidelman.
Aney says that on the day of the alleged inappropriate contact back in November, the boy was fully clothed, and there were several people in the same room at the time the alleged inappropriate contact was made.
He says any physical contact that was made, was accidental.
He says during a press conference by the state police after the arrest of Scheidelman back in November, police officials stated there may be more victims of Scheidelman, including siblings of the alleged victim in the case he was arrested for. However, no other charges have ever been filed.
Aney told reporters the charge Scheidelman is facing is the only complaint against him, and in his view, this case is "weak, at best."
"I feel absolutely confident that there's absolutely nothing out there, except this charge and this charge is, based on my perception of the evidence at this time, the weakest evidence that I've seen in many a case," Aney said.
Judge Michael Dwyer announced in court that if an agreement isn't reached during Scheidelman's April 1 court appearance, pre-trial motions must be made by both sides by April 15.