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DA: Charge against former Utica firefighter reinstated

Oneida County Court Judge Robert Bauer reversed Utica City Court Judge Giruzzi's ruling in a decision handed down last Friday.

Posted: Apr 4, 2019 12:44 PM
Updated: Apr 4, 2019 1:38 PM

UTICA, N.Y. -- The Oneida County District Attorney’s Office announced the charge against now-former Utica firefighter Richard Forte has been reinstated by an appellate court.

Forte is accused of performing a sexual act on a female firefighter's uniform pants, that she was not wearing at the time. 

Oneida County Court Judge Robert Bauer reversed Utica City Court Judge Giruzzi's ruling in a decision handed down last Friday to dismiss the making a punishable false statement charge.

Bauer ruled that Giruzzi had applied the incorrect legal standard in reviewing the charge and ordered it reinstated for trial.

"We will continue to do everything we can to seek justice for the victim in this case. Sexual harassment in the workplace – especially when it is criminal in nature – is simply unacceptable,” said District Attorney Scott McNamara in a statement.

Forte had been arraigned on three charges in March 2018: making a punishable false statement, criminal mischief, and criminal tampering. 

Forte's next appearance in Utica City Court is scheduled for April 19.

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