Yorktown man, former Rockland day camp worker, pleads guilty to sex charge

A former Rockland County day camp worker will be registered as a sex offender after soliciting sex from someone he thought was a 15-year-old girl on the Internet.

Howard Hochman of Yorktown, (left) who was a transportation coordinator for Camp Ramaquois in Pomona, pleaded guilty in Westchester County Court today to a felony charge of attempted dissemination of indecent material to a minor.

Hochman, 62, agreed to serve five years probation, with time served, as part of the plea. Westchester County Judge Susan Cacace will sentence him on Oct. 4. He could have faced up to four years in state prison if convicted at trial.

According to the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office, Hochman had several Internet chats with the “girl” starting on March 30. The girl was actually an undercover investigator. During the chats, Hochman allegedly discussed specific sexual acts and arranged to meet the “girl” in White Plains. When he arrived at the destination they had arranged online, he was arrested.

Camp Ramaquois’ director, Arthur Kessler, said Hochman was a staff member at the camp for two seasons, and Kessler said there was no indication that Hochman ever behaved inappropriately toward any campers.

He said the camp runs criminal background, sex-offender and reference checks on all staffers. He also said camp programs are designed to avoid any situation in which a staff member is left alone with a camper.

Hochman also used to work as a part-time program director for the Wagon Road Camp in Chappaqua from February 2005 to May 2009. Officials there said no accusations of misconduct were ever lodged against him.

Earlier in his career, Hochman was a New York City public school teacher and retired as an assistant principal.

Yonkers man sentenced for raping boy, 14

WHITE PLAINS — A Yonkers man was sentenced today to 10 years of sex offender probation for raping a 14-year-old boy in 2007.

Patrick Martens (left) apologized in court for his past behavior, which the victim’s father said has turned his son into a heroin addict.

“He’s so ashamed and scared,” the father said.

Martens, who lives on Kincaid Drive, was accused of sodomizing the boy in his home in December 2007. The boy didn’t tell his family until he was confronted about his drug use last year, his father said, and began to cry when he described the abuse.

In a victim’s impact statement, the father said he contacted Martens online, posing as his son. He said Martens wrote back, saying he wanted to have sex with the victim as well as his younger brother.

He said his son, now 18, has become a “dark, lost soul” since being abused and contracted hepatitis C as a result of his heroin use. He said his son told him he hopes to overdose because he can’t bring himself to commit suicide any other way. The father called the 45-year-old Martens “a pathetic excuse for a human being” who took advantage of his son.

Martens, an ex-instructor with the Yonkers Fife and Drum Band, pleaded guilty on April 12 to second-degree criminal sexual act, a felony punishable by up to seven years in state prison. Assistant District Attorney Mary Clark-DiRusso said it was in the victim’s best interest not to have the case go to trial, where he would have to describe the sex acts to a jury.

Westchester County Judge Susan Cacace signed an order of protection banning Martens from having any contact with the victim or his immediate family, who live near Martens. The judge said the conditions of his probation “are severe and they are lengthy” and that he would be closely monitored for the next 10 years.

As part of his sex offender probation, Martens is forbidden from going to parks, playgrounds, malls or any places children under 18 often meet.  He cannot live within 1,000 feet of a school, day-care center or playground and needs permission to travel.Martens also will be required to attend and pay for group counseling, as well as submit to polygraph tests. He cannot own a computer without permission and must pay for software that monitors and limits computer use. He is forbidden to have any photos of minors, including ones cut from publications, or to have cameras and video recording equipment without permission.

Martens, a former guard at Co-Op City in the Bronx, was a former instructor with the Yonkers Fife and Drum Band, which is made up of city firefighters but not run by the department. Yonkers Fire Commissioner Tony Pagano has said Martens has not taught the Yonkers band for at least three years.