Son of Whitestown judge charged with animal cruelty


WHITESTOWN, N.Y. (WKTV) - The son of a judge in Whitestown is dealing with animal cruelty charges after a police officer found him abusing a kitten in a women's bathroom at Gibson Road Park.

A police officer was locking the restroom just after 9 p.m. on July 19 when he found 19-year-old Joseph Sullivan with two small kittens. He had bound the front and back legs of one together with Scotch tape and there was a lighter on the floor. The officer arrested Joseph, who is the son of Daniel Sullivan, a judge in the Town of Whitestown.

"It was tied up with tape and the research they came up with, if you stop the freedom of movement of an animal it is- it fits the torture definition according to the Agriculture and Markets Law," said Chief Donald Wolanin of the Whitestown Police Department.

Daniel Sullivan came to the scene when his son was arrested and took the kittens with him.

"I believe that they are OK. They were given -- taken -- back to where they came from," said Chief Wolanin.

Joseph Sullivan got the kittens off Craigslist. Days after the incident on July 19, he was charged with animal cruelty.

"We have a motion pending before the judge to dismiss this case," said Ricardo Mauro, the attorney for Joseph Sullivan.

Due to the conflict of interest the case has been transferred to the court in the Village of Oriskany. The next court date is set for Oct. 9.

"Torture is the intentional infliction of physical pain, suffering or death to an animal and that didn't happen here. So we believe there's absolutely no merit to these charges," said Mauro.

Daniel Sullivan said because he's a judge he can't comment on the case, but in a phone interview said: "I'll always stand behind my son."

If the motion is denied the case will go to trial. If convicted, Joseph Sullivan could face up to a year in jail.

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