Man convicted of raping woman, beating her son

A 30-year-old Mount Vernon man was convicted today of raping his live-in ex-girlfriend and beating her 6-year-old son at least twice last year.

Michael E. Thompson Jr. (right) was found guilty of first-degree rape and three counts of second-degree assault, all felonies, and misdemeanor counts of menacing and child endangerment.

A Westchester County jury acquitted him of two counts of third-degree rape an an additional count of first-degree rape.

Prosecutors say Thompson, who is 6-foot-3 and weighs more than 300 pounds, punched the boy in the mouth, knocking out a tooth. They also allege he beat the boy with an electrical cord, poured rubbing alcohol over the open wounds and dunked his head into scalding water.

Thompson was accused of terrorizing the boy’s mother, who worked in a restaurant, threatening to kill her if she didn’t let him live in her apartment. She said Thompson beat and raped her to keep her under his control.

The woman told no one until Feb. 20, when prosecutors said she finally got the courage to go to the police. The defense claimed the woman’s accusations were revenge for Thompson cheating on her.

Acting state Supreme Court Justice Robert Neary set sentencing for Feb. 29. The rape conviction carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in state prison, while each assault charges is punishable by up to seven years.

New judge on MLK Jr. Boulevard

photo_courtroom_smThe newest addition to the Westchester County courthouse is Judge Albert Lorenzo, a court of claims judge formerly stationed in the Bronx, who will be hearing criminal cases here throughout 2010.

Administrative Judge Alan Scheinkman said that Lorenzo, who lives in Armonk, is “highly regarded” for his judicial ability. Scheinman sent former Westchester court of claims Judge Robert A. Neary, who lives in Pound Ridge, down to the Bronx to take Lorenzo’s spot, saying that moving judges around gives them a “different perspective.”

Lorenzo’s courtroom (for now) is on the first floor, in what used to be Judge Jeffrey Cohen’s courtroom. Cohen, who lives in Yorktown, became a state judge and was transferred to Orange County.

Photo courtesy of nycourtsystem.com

Sentencing delayed for Greenburgh feces thrower

showimg.aspConvicted sex offender and (you read that right) feces thrower Eugene Feeney got a bit of a break today, as a judge postponed sentencing him for a brutal attack on his ex-girlfriend earlier this year.

Feeney, a 40-year-old Sleepy Hollow resident, was convicted at trial of raping, robbing and assaulting the woman when she broke up with him. He also was convicted of resisting arrest and obstruction for his excrement-spattered tirade when Greenburgh police arrested him.

Feeney’s lawyer, Ron Stokes, filed papers to set aside the verdict based on new evidence he found following the trial. He said a credit card receipt was discovered that he says contradicts testimony the woman gave at trial. Acting state Supreme Court Justice Robert Neary gave prosecutors a few weeks to look over Stokes’ motion and file a response, and told both sides to be back in court on Jan. 6.

Prosecutors said when Feeney’s girlfriend tried to end their relationship inside her Armonk apartment on Jan. 10, he restrained and raped her. Two days later, while he was inside the apartment to retrieve his belongings, he stole a diamond ring. The next day, when the victim realized the theft and got into contact with Feeney, they agreed to meet in a public place where he was to return the ring, but Feeney demanded money instead. Another argument ensued and he began assaulting her.

He then drove her to a Greenburgh ATM, where she withdrew money and threw it on the ground to distract him so she could flee. But he grabbed her and tried forcing her to withdraw more money, prompting an eyewitness to call Greenburgh police.

Feeney put up a struggle when he was taken into custody, including kicking the back of a police cruiser, and had to be subdued with Taser gun. He was taken to the emergency room at Westchester Medical Center for treatment. While there, Feeney defecated, and a small plastic bag containing marijuana emerged, police said. He then began kicking the feces at police and nurses.

Say it with me now … ewwwww!

If the credit card receipt isn’t enough to throw out the verdict, Feeney will be sentenced as a predicate felon. He was arrested in Greenburgh in 2004 and pleaded guilty in 2005 to a felony charge of criminal sexual act. He served three years in prison before being discharged in December 2008.

In this latest conviction, Feeney faces five to 25 years for the top charge but could get consecutive sentences.

Double-dipping judges

My colleague Jonathan Bandler has an amazing story in today’s paper about how the law allows judges to retire and collect pension while remaining on the bench and collecting a salary. This gives them annual income of more than $200,000, and a loophole around the 11-year wage freeze for state and county judges.

Click here to read more about the completely legal double dipping.

Judge: Everything in for Arroyo rape trial

Acting state Supreme Court Justice Robert A. Neary delivered some bad news today to Jose Arroyo, a retired NYPD detective who is going on trial for allegedly drugging, kidnapping and raping a woman in a Greenburgh motel last year.

Neary is going to allow the jury to see a lot of potentially incriminating evidence against Arroyo, a 47tjndc5-5nhi7putwub1asuilcxw_thumbnail-year-old from the Bronx. They include statements he made to police (he claims the sex was consensual), surveillance video from the Bronx bar where he allegedly slipped the drug into the woman’s drink, and 16 photos he took of the naked, unconscious woman in the motel bed, posed in several positions.

Arroyo’s defense lawyer wanted the photos thrown out, saying police took Arroyo’s camera illegally, and that the photos serve no purpose except to inflame the jury. Prosecutors successfully argued that the pics go to the heart of their case — that the woman was incapable of consent. Neary noted that Arroyo voluntarily turned over the camera to police and never asked that it be returned. However, Neary will review the photos and determine if some of them should be kept out of the jury’s hands.

The defense also had a video expert testify that the bar surveillance video was unreliable, but Neary said he would let the jury determine that. The jury also will learn about DNA evidence found on the motel sheets that match both Arroyo and the woman.

And no, you’re not seeing double. The mug shots of Arroyo were scanned into our computer system this way, so this is how he’ll appear until our technical gurus at LoHud.com can fix the glitch.

Arroyo rape trial hearings begin

Pre-trial hearings opening today in the case of Jose Arroyo, a retired New York City police detective accused of drugging and raping a woman at a Greenburgh motel a year ago.

Arroyo, 47, is facing a five-count indictment for rape, kidnapping and assault and up to 25 years in state prison on the top counts. He is accused of chatting up the 31-year-old Texas woman Nov. 14 at Doyle’s Pub in the Bronx and slipping a drug in her drink that caused her to pass out. Prosecutors say her then took the unconscious woman to the Alexander Motel on Tarrytown Road in Greenburgh, beat and raped her. The woman, after waking up the next morning, grabbed a key and tried using it on several cars in the parking lot. That prompted the motel manager to call  Greenburgh police.

At today’s evidentiary hearing before acting state Supreme Court Justice Robert A. Neary, a Greenburgh police officer testified that the woman was “clearly distraught … mostly scared” when she told him that she woke up with a man she didn’t know and had no idea how she got to the motel. The woman had visible bruises and scrapes to both cheekbones, the officer said. When police entered the room, they found Arroyo sleeping and the butt of a handgun sticking out from a pillow next to him. They took the giun and told him he could have it back after he sobered up.

Arroyo claims the sex was consensual, but authorities say she was incapable of consent because she was physically helpless because of the drug. Prosecutors say they have videotape showing Arroyo spiking the woman’s drink, stirring it up and handing her the glass when she returned to the bar.

Assistant District Attorneys Christine Cervascio and Patricia Murphy are prosecuting the case. Defense lawyer Peter Tilem is representing Arroyo.