RENSSELAER, N.Y. – John Halacy entered a not guilty plea to five misdemeanor charges in court Wednesday after a mistake in paperwork led to the dismissal of most of the charges he faced in the alleged abuse of two teens.
Angry family members of one of the alleged victims were in the courtroom while Halacy pleaded not guilty to second-degree Attempted Rape, Endangering the Welfare of a Child, and Unlawful Imprisonment.
Halacy, 24, was arrested in February after detectives determined he had been sexually abusing a 13-year-old and 14-year-old female in the city of Rensselaer between December 1, 2012 and February 8, 2013. Police also believe Halacy supplied the girls with prescription drugs.
His attorney didn't have much to say regarding five new misdemeanor charges that have been brought against his client. When NEWS10 ABC reached out to the D.A.'s office to find out more about the charges, we were told he was unavailable.
Halacy was previously facing 19 felony charges, including Rape. He was released from county jail earlier this week.
Rensselaer County District Attorney Richard McNally says he takes full responsibility for the paperwork mishap and he apologizes to the victims and their families. However, one of the victim's moms says it has made her lose hope in the justice system.
The mother was in court on Wednesday morning and says just being near Halacy was tough. She also said she didn't understand why Assistant District Attorney Laura Kruegler, who admitted to making the mistake, was in court prosecuting the case Wednesday.
McNally has declined to go on camera but spoke with NEWS10 ABC on the phone. He says Krueglar thought she had a waiver that was filed and she marked it as such but that she did not file it.
Halacy remains free since he only faces misdemeanor charges, but the judge did grant three orders of protection for the victims.
"Maybe the community can come together and, you know, we make people aware of him," says the victim's mother, "And hopefully he'll not want to walk out of his house anymore and want to relocate."
Halacy did not have any comment today. However he did send out a tweet on Tuesday saying "Feels good to be home. Time for new beginnings and back to college."
He is due back in court on December 11.
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