RENSSELAER, N.Y. - The Rensselaer County District Attorney admits to making a mistake that has led to reduced charges for an accused child rapist.
John Halacy went before a judge Wednesday and pleaded not guilty to five misdemeanors charges, instead of the previous 19 felonies he faced.
Halacy is accused of sexually abusing two girls, just 13 and 14 years old.
However, Rensselaer County District Attorney Richard McNally confirms one of his Assistant District Attorney's did not file the appropriate paperwork leading Halacy's dropped charges.
NEWS10 ABC went to McNally's office requesting an interview and were turned down for the third time.
Over the phone, he defended that Assitant DA, Laura Kruegler, who admitted to making the paperwork mistake. McNally called Kruegler a seasoned professional and sees no reason why she shouldn't still handle the case, referring her position as prosecutor for Halacy's new charges.
Rensselaer County Legislatures have sent a letter to McNally saying they, along with residents of the county, "are concerned about the failure" of his office, regarding the Halacy case.
Legislator Thomas Walsh Sr. and Lesgislator Michael Stammel signed the letter which states:
"We would be most appreciative if you
can provide a detailed explanation as to how the Halacy case was not prosecuted
in a timely fashion, leading to felony rape charges being dismissed...We would also appreciate any information you have regarding efforts
by your office to ensure similar errors that result in serious miscarriages of
justice due to failures of timely prosecution do not occur in the future."
Stammel is also the Chairman of the Judiciary and Public Safety Committee, which Walsh is a member of.
McNally says his office is also reviewing the evidence and explains more misdemeanor charges could be filed.
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.
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