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Watertown man convicted of sexually abusing child, in critical condition after taking pill

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A Watertown man who was found guilty Friday afternoon of sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl is in critical condition at Samaritan Medical Center after apparently taking a pill upon hearing the verdict.

Jon K. Massey, 52, collapsed as he was being led from Jefferson County Court about a half hour after being convicted of two counts each of first-degree criminal sexual act and second-degree course of sexual conduct against a child.

“While a deputy and a New York state court officer escorted Massey from the court complex, he began to show signs of sickness and anxiety. Massey stated he had taken an undetermined substance directly after the verdict,” according to a news release from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department.

He was listed in critical condition at 7:30 p.m., according to Samaritan Medical Center.

Mr. Massey did not display any emotion upon the reading of the verdict.

However, trial testimony revealed that he has had suicidal ideations in the past, including on the day that he was arrested on the sexual abuse charges.

“There were serious concerns that this situation could occur, but I had addressed them as best as I thought I could,” said Salvatore J. Piemonte, Camillus, Mr. Massey’s defense attorney.

Mr. Piemonte, who was sitting next to Mr. Massey as the guilty verdict was pronounced, said he did not see Mr. Massey put anything into his mouth.

A jury deliberated for about nine hours over two days before finding Mr. Massey guilty of two counts each of first-degree criminal sexual act and second-degree course of sexual conduct against a child.

Assistant District Attorney Patricia L. Dzuiba maintained that Mr. Massey allowed the girl to stay at his residence between September 2009 and April 2010, a period in which he was involved in a relationship with the girl’s mother. It was claimed that Mr. Massey began making inappropriate comments to the girl and touching her, behavior that escalated to sexual abuse.

Mr. Piemonte countered that the sexual abuse claim arose only after Mr. Massey took the mother’s side in a dispute over a relationship the girl was having as a teenager with an adult male, a relationship for which the mother threatened to have the man arrested.

At the close of testimony Thursday, the four top counts against Mr. Massey, including three counts of predatory sexual assault against a child and first-degree criminal sexual act, were dismissed. The first three counts were dismissed by Judge Kim H. Martusewicz based on a motion by Mr. Piemonte that they duplicated the criminal sexual act counts. The final count was dismissed for lack of evidence.

Mr. Massey faces a possible prison sentence of five to 25 years at sentencing April 18. Judge Martusewicz revoked his bail and he was ordered held at the Metro-Jefferson Public Safety Building.

No further information was available from the sheriff’s office.

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