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Massena-area man fined for endangering the welfare of a child conviction

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MASSENA - A Massena-area man charged with having inappropriate contact with a female teenager has been fined after pleading guilty to an endangering the welfare of a child count.

Massena Village Justice Eric J. Gustafson fined Jonathan Zakarauskas, 25, of 1401 state Route 420, Norfolk, $750 and a $205 surcharge for the misdemeanor conviction. He was also placed under a one-year conditional discharge with a stipulation he abide by an order of protection directing him to have no contact with the alleged victim in the case.

The endangering the welfare charge alleged he picked up two teenagers, ages 13 and 15, at 11:45 p.m. July 25, 2011 and took them to a camper at his parent’s business without the girls’ parents’ knowledge or consent.

Village police had charged Zakarauskas in August 2011 with two counts of first-degree sexual abuse and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

He was accused of having intimate sexual contact with one of the girls when she was 13 years old in July 2009 and when she was 14 years old in June 2010. Court documents said the girl reportedly told Zakarauskas to stop during the incident in June 2010 but he failed to do so.

The felony sexual abuse charges were later reduced to misdemeanors and returned to Massena Village Court.

Zakarauskas was reportedly in the girls’ home on both occasions because he was friends with one of her relatives, according to court documents.

In other recent village court action before Judge Gustafson:

■ Jason Kennedy, 38, of 42 Main St., Massena, had his sentencing for a driving while intoxicated conviction adjourned after appearing in court with a new attorney, Brian D. Pilatzke.

Mr. Pilatzke asked for the adjournment so he would review the case to explore the possibility of withdrawing the plea or reaching a sentencing commitment with prosecutors and the court. Kennedy had pleaded guilty to the reduced count of DWI in April.

Kennedy was returned to the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility, where he is currently serving a 120-day sentence handed down in St. Lawrence County Family Court.

■ Robert W. Northrup, 63, of 82 Cook St., Massena, demanded his petit larceny charge be placed on the trial calendar after the village justice refused to commit to no jail time if he entered a guilty plea to a disorderly conduct violation to satisfy the charge.

St. Lawrence County Assistant Public Defender Alison Appleby urged the court to sentence Northrup to a one-year conditional discharge if he pleaded guilty to the disorderly conduct violation.

“Seriously?” the village justice asked Ms. Appleby. “How many times has he been here? If he is convicted of something, he is not going to get the good guy treatment.” Ms. Appleby had argued the plea offer reflected legal issues with the paperwork in the case. She suggested the facts in the accusatory instrument differed from the facts in the supporting deposition.

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